NASHVILLE — Authorities in Rutherford County have captured two Georgia fugitives accused of double homicide after they tied up a couple and led police on a chase that closed Interstate 24 Thursday.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal confirmed the capture of Donnie Rowe, 43, and Ricky DuBose, 24, via Twitter.
Authorities launched a nationwide manhunt Tuesday for Dubose and Rowe after the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said they fatally shot two guards on a prison transport bus before carjacking their way to freedom.
Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills said the inmates fled the bus near Eatonton, about 70 miles southeast of Atlanta. Sills said investigators were trying to determine how the killers got out of the inmate cage and into the driver's compartment.
According to Bedford County Sheriff Austin Swing at a press conference, Dubose and Rowe ditched a vehicle at the base of a hill in Shelbyville, covering the car with grass and branches.
At the top of the hill, they forced their way into a home at gunpoint, Swing said. The couple who live there spent the next three hours tied up while the fugitives ate their beef stew and pilfered their valuables.
"They are extremely traumatized," he said.
The couple suffered minor injuries from the rope used to tie them up and one of them was choked at one point when he tried to escape.
At about 5:30 p.m. CT, Swing said Dubose and Rowe decided to leave and stole the couple's Jeep Cherokee. Some 15 minutes later, the two managed to escape their bonds and call police.
When authorities with the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office caught up with the wanted men, the ensuing high speed chase and foot pursuit shut down Interstate 24 about 10 miles south of Murfreesboro.
The eastbound side of the roadway was not expected to open up again until about 11 p.m., according to the Tennessee Department of Transportation.
Swing said shots were fired but that no one was hurt.
Tennessee Highway Patrol spokesman Lt. Travis Plotzer said troopers also responded to the scene to assist.
Dubose is serving a 20-year sentence for armed robbery, aggravated assault and theft from a 2014 case. Rowe has been in prison since 2002 with convictions including armed robbery, possession of a firearm during a crime and aggravated assault.
The corrections department identified the victims as Christopher Monica, 42, who began working there in 2009, and Curtis Billue, 58, who would have marked his 10th anniversary with the department next month.
Authorities had offered a $130,000 reward for information leading to the fugitives' arrests.