Evidence hearing held in case of inmate accused of murdering two correctional officers

A judge has to rule if the evidence is admissible.

PUTNAM COUNTY, Ga. — The trial of one of the men accused  of murdering two correctional officers is one step closer.

On Thursday, a judge heard evidence of what could be included in Donnie Rowe's case.

Rowe sat at the table with his defense team, wearing a white jumpsuit and orange Crocs. Prosecutors say he and Ricky Dubose killed Sgts. Chris Monica and Curtis Billue in June of 2017.

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At times during Thursday's hearing, Channel 2's Lauren Pozen saw Rowe take notes, especially when prosecutors played his interview with FBI agents after he and Rowe were captured in Tennessee.

The judge wouldn't allow us to play the video for you, but we were able to use a screenshot of it.

The FBI agent who questioned Rowe told the court he was very forthcoming. At one point in the interview we watched, Rowe breaks down in tears.


He told the special agent he had met Dubose six months prior to the attack on the prison bus whilethey were being transferred. Rowe says multiple rounds were fired, striking one of the officers directly in the head.

We also heard testimony from the sheriff of Putnam County, who arrived on the scene moments after the attack. He described it as chaotic. He spoke with many inmates, who told him what they saw.

"I obviously was looking for the most information I could get to apprehend these people as quickly as I could. It was clear to me who they were, it was clear to me the crimes that occurred and that was my focus," says Sheriff Howard Sills.

The judge did not rule on Thursday what will and will not be allowed into evidence. That will be decided at another hearing  date next month.

The families of the victims were also in court, at times holding back tears. Pozen spoke with Denise Billue, whose brother was Curtis Billue. She said it is very difficult for her to be here, but she shows up for her brother.

"Our faith is sustaining us. It keeps us strong. In the end, everything is going to work out. We believe in the judicial system, but we also believe in the process," she said.