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One-time fugitive sentenced to death for murder of 2 Georgia corrections officers

One-time fugitive sentenced to death for murder of 2 Georgia corrections officers
Ricky Dubose was sentenced to death in 2022 for killing two corrections officers during an escape in Putnam County, Ga. File Photo courtesy of the Georgia Department of Corrections

June 17 (UPI) -- A Georgia jury has sentenced to death a man convicted of murdering two corrections officers before escaping custody and leading authorities on a three-day manhunt.

Ricky Dubose was sentenced Thursday, a week after being convicted of two counts of murder.

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He and his accomplice, Donnie Rowe, set off a manhunt in June 2017 after they slipped out of their handcuffs and broke their way out of what was supposed to be a secure cabin on a transport bus. They disarmed the corrections officers before killing Curtis Billue, the bus driver, and guard Christopher Monica.

Dubose, Rowe and several other inmates were en route from a state prison in Hancock County to another detention center in Butts County. They escaped the bus in Putnam County, where prosecutors said they stole multiple vehicles, robbed two homes, and tied up and terrorized an elderly couple. At one point, they led police on a high-speed chase.

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They were captured three days after their escape in central Tennessee after a homeowner saw them attempting to steal his vehicle and, together with a neighbor, restrained the men.

Rowe was sentenced to life without parole. The Telegraph in Macon, Ga., reported that a jury spared Rowe's life because he wasn't the one who pulled the trigger, killing the officers.

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Dubose's attorneys asked the jury for a less severe sentence than death, saying he's not the worst of the worst criminal, WMAZ-TV in Macon reported. His legal team also argued he shouldn't be eligible for the death penalty because he's intellectually disabled and mentally ill, which would be a violation of the Constitution.

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Prior to their escape attempt, Rowe was serving a sentence of up to life in prison for armed robbery and aggravated assault in a 2001 case. Dubose was serving up to 20 years for armed robbery, aggravated assault and theft after a conviction in 2014. He also was convicted of theft and identity fraud in 2010.

Allen Cone contributed to this report.

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