Attorney says inmate on trial for killing 2 prison guards should be found guilty but mentally ill

PUTNAM COUNTY, Ga. — Opening statements got underway Wednesday morning for one of the two inmates accused of killing two Georgia correctional officers nearly five years ago.

In June 2017, Ricky Dubose and fellow inmate Donnie Rowe escaped from a prisoner transport bus.

According to officials, the two planned their escape and shot and killed two officers in the process.

Dubose and Rowe were on the run for days before they were eventually captured.

The trial against Ricky Dubose began Wednesday morning with a surprising opening statement from the defense in this trial.

The state laid out their opening remarks before the defense addressed the jury, telling them to find Dubose guilty — not just because of the crime, but because Dubose is intellectually disabled and could not fully process what he was doing that day.


“Ricky Dubose is guilty and intellectually disabled,” Dubose’s defense attorney said. “Ricky Dubose is guilty and mentally ill. We are asking you to find Ricky guilty and intellectually disabled.”

State prosecutors told the jury how heinous the crime was.

“Retrieves a Glock 9, loads it, shoots Christopher Monica, shoots Curtis Billeu, kicks a window out of the bus, all of that ladies and gentlemen takes a mere 40 seconds,” prosecutors said.

For days, deputies in both Georgia and Tennessee searched for the two inmates.

While on the run, officials said both Dubose and Rowe stole at least three different cars, broke into a home, tied up the couple inside of that home and hid out from the authorities.

Dubose and Rowe were eventually captured in Tennessee.

The defense told the jury Dubose was abused as a child and suffered from a mental illness. They argued that that mental illness caused Dubose to follow whatever Rowe did.

“Followed Donnie Rowe into making a series of terrible decisions with tragic consequences,” the defense said.

Rowe stood trial last year and was found guilty. He’s currently serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole.