Who gets the reward for capture of escaped Georgia inmates? The answer isn't easy
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has confirmed that a reward will be paid after the arrest of two escaped inmates believed to have killed their guards June 13 on a Georgia prison bus.
But the agency doesn’t say when the $141,000 reward will be paid for the capture of Donnie Rowe and Ricky Dubose, or who will get it, the New York Times reports.
There are at least three potential claimants, the Times says. There is an elderly couple from Shelbyville, Tennessee, who called police after they were allegedly held at gunpoint by the men. And there is Patrick Hale of Rutherford County, Tennessee, who called police when he saw the two men and watched in surprise when they surrendered by lying down in his driveway.
Hale, who was planning to flee in his car, believes the escapees surrendered because his vehicle looks like one used by local police, the Tennessean reported. Hale said he did have a gun on him, but did not have to draw it.
Putnam County, Georgia, Sheriff Howard Sills initially said the reward would not be paid because the men surrendered, Fox 17 News reports. Sills later said in a press release that he didn’t know all of the facts at the time and that statement was incorrect.
A GBI statement released on Friday says that “the bravery of Tennessee civilians contributed to the apprehension of both inmates” and the reward “will be dispersed at the appropriate time” after a review by law enforcement.
Confusion over who is entitled to a reward is not unusual, the Times says. The newspaper offers a case study involving the $1 million reward in 2013 for the arrest and conviction of Christopher Dorner, accused of killing a police officer and wounding two others in California. Dorner killed another officer and was surrounded by police when he shot and killed himself in a cabin.
Twelve people sought the reward. A panel of former judges assessed their claims and decided that three people should share in the money. Most of the reward went to a couple tied up and held at gunpoint by Dorner. They had managed to get free and call police.
But the city of Riverside refused to contribute a promised $100,000 to the pot because the reward was for “arrest and conviction,” and Dorner had killed himself before arrest.