Man accused of killing 2 COs in prison bus escape found guilty

A jury convicted Ricky Dubose after deliberating for about 90 minutes

By Caleb Slinkard and Joe Kovac Jr.
The Macon Telegraph

PUTNAM COUNTY, Ga. — A man accused of murdering two correctional officers in a daring 2017 prison bus escape was found guilty in a Putnam County Courthouse Monday evening.

A jury brought in from Glynn County convicted Ricky Allen "Juvie" Dubose, 29, after deliberating for about 90 minutes.

His guilt was never really in question. His attorney Gabrielle Amber Pittman told jurors in her opening statement that Dubose was guilty. The real question, which remains to be answered, was whether Dubose will be executed by the state or spend the rest of his life in prison.

Dubose's defense was based on both his traumatic childhood and reported mental health issues. A verdict of "guilty but with intellectual disability" or "guilty but mentally ill" would have kept Dubose off death row and likely sent him to prison for life, but the jury declined to utilize such qualifications in their conviction.

The case now moves to the penalty phase, where prosecutors and Dubose's attorney will attempt to convince the same jury to either condemn Dubose to death row or spare his life.

[RELATED: Jurors view video of deadly 2017 Georgia prison bus escape]

A deadly escape

Dubose was 23 months into a 20-year sentence when he and fellow prisoner Donnie Russell "Whiskey" Rowe Jr., who was serving life for a holdup in Macon in 2001, murdered correctional officers Curtis Billue and Christopher Monica.

The killings happened the morning of June 13, 2017, along a highway east of Eatonton near Lake Oconee. Dubose and Rowe slipped out of their handcuffs while they were being ferried from a prison near Milledgeville to one near Jackson. The two burst through an unlocked gate on the bus. Prosecutors say Dubose grabbed one of the officers' Glock pistols and shot Monica, the watchman, in the head and then did the same to Billue, the driver.

[RELATED: 'A mind full of evil': Inmate convicted of murdering COs in escape from Ga. prison bus]

Rowe and Dubose then allegedly commandeered a passing car and then fled to Tennessee where they were captured a few days later. Last September, a jury brought in from Grady County convicted Rowe of murdering the officers but spared him the death penalty. He was sentenced to life in prison.

The bloody episode was recorded by a security camera mounted in the rear of the bus.


(c)2022 The Macon Telegraph (Macon, Ga.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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