PUTNAM COUNTY, Ga. - The Putnam County District Attorney will seek the death penalty in the case of two inmates accused of killing two corrections officers.
Investigators say state prisoners Donnie Rowe and Ricky Dubose shot and killed Sgt. Curtis Billue and Sgt. Christopher Monica on a prison transport bus in June.
The inmates escaped and led police on a multistate manhunt for two days. They were captured in Tennessee.
Dubose faced a judge in Putnam County on Friday. Investigators believe he is the one who pulled the trigger.
“When he walks into the courtroom, I have an opportunity to look at him face to face. I want him to know that our family is here,” said Curtis Billue’s sister, Denise. “We want him to know that every single time that he shows up at the courtroom, we’re going to here.”
Sheriff Howard Sills said Friday's hearing was one of many that are necessary when the death penalty is being sought. The hearing was partly to map a route for how the case against Dubose will proceed.
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One of more than a dozen motions and notices put forth by the defense says Dubose “is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt after a trial.”
Not much is known about Dubose’s version of what happened the day the officers were killed.
“Did I hear correctly in court that Ricky Dubose made a statement to authorities?” Channel 2’s Mark Winne asked Sills.
“Right after he was arrested in Tennessee, at my request, he was interviewed by an FBI agent and a Tennessee officer,” Sills said. “Without reviewing it again, I would say it may have been an hour long, maybe a little less than that.”
Sills said he expect that statement to be a key piece of evidence in the case.
Denise Billue said her family is trying to heal from their loss, but it’s “going very slowly.”
“We just have to constantly trust and believe that God is going to take care of us. Our faith is that one thing that is really, really holding us together on top of the fact that we have received so much love and so much support.”
Denise Billue said she shared a hug with Monica’s widow before the hearing.
“My prayers are with her family and I know that they are praying for us as well,” she said.
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