The Avenue Murfreesboro Easter

Update on escaped inmates


Teams of law enforcement officers are diligently searching for two fugitives who escaped Wednesday from the Rutherford County Adult Detention Center.

Dewayne Halfacre, 43, of Lynchburg and Jonathan Baxter, 28, of Murfreesboro were being sought by teams of law enforcement officers.

“It’s a very active investigation,” said Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh. “We will continue looking for these two individuals until there is a successful outcome.”

Halfacre has a tattoo with wings on the side of his neck and Baxter has a tattoo of an interstate sign with 615.

Officers followed leads all night and continue to search for the suspects today.

Agencies working with the Sheriff’s Office include Murfreesboro Police, Smyrna and La Vergne Police, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Marshal Service and the FBI.

Citizens are asked to remain on alert.

A female deputy assaulted by two inmates during an escape was treated for minor injuries Wednesday at St. Thomas Rutherford and released, said Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh.

Inmates Dewayne Halfacre, 43, of Lynchburg and Jonathan Cody Baxter, 28, of Murfreesboro, remain on the run. Halfacre is awaiting trial for aggravated robbery in January of Almaville Market. He fled to Marion County where he was captured five days later.

Baxter is awaiting trial on a theft charge. They are considered dangerous fugitives.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation placed Halfacre and Baxter on the Tennessee Top Ten Most Wanted list. TBI is offering a reward up to $2,500, the U.S. Marshal Office is offering a $2,500 reward and Rutherford County Crime Stoppers is offering a reward up to $1,000 for a potential $6,000.

The U.S. Marshal Service, TBI, Tennessee Highway Patrol and Murfreesboro Police joined the Sheriff’s office in searching for the inmates who escaped about 12:40 this morning.

They were believed armed with a handmade weapon.

Preliminary reports were the inmates climbed over the fence to escape. They fled with the deputy’s radio.

The deputy did not carry keys or a Taser, contrary to media reports that keys and a Taser were stolen from her.

“The investigation reveals another detention officer failed to follow proper procedures after the deputy was assaulted, resulting in the inmates escaping through an outside door,” Fitzhugh said. “The investigation on the improper procedure is ongoing.”

THP’s helicopter pilot and K-9s were searching for the suspects along with teams of officers.

Halfacre has a large tattoo of wings on the side of his neck. Baxter has a tattoo of what appears to be an interstate sign reading “Tennessee 615.”

Reports were received of a Honda Civic being stolen from a Murfreesboro car dealer. The car was later recovered. It has not been determined if the inmates took the car.

“We are actively following any leads that are coming to our attention,” Fitzhugh said. “Should anyone see anything suspicious, please call 615-898-7770 or 1-800-TBI FIND.”

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