CAPTURED: Halfacre and Baxter Escapees Back in Custody

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(L-R) Dewayne Halfacre and Jonathan Baxter

CAPTURED: Rutherford County Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh says two men who escaped the adult detention center this week are now in custody.

They were back in custody within 35 hours Thursday near Smyrna.

The sheriff says Dewayne Halfacre, 43, of Lynchburg and Jonathan Baxter, 28, of Smyrna were apprehended by teams of multi-agency law enforcement officers about 11:20 a.m. Thursday near U.S. Highway 41/70 South near the overhead bridge.


Halfacre and Baxter will face additional charges.

"We are grateful for the law enforcement partners who joined us in searching tirelessly for the fugitives," Fitzhugh said. "We sincerely thank our citizens who called with information. Our citizens and their tips made our job easier. We appreciate the cooperation with the Rutherford County Schools in keeping the students safe with the code yellow."


Agencies joining the Sheriff's Office in the search were Murfreesboro, Smyrna and La Vergne Police, Tennessee Highway Patrol and the Aviation Unit, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Fusion Center, the U.S. Marshal Service, the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Rutherford County Emergency Medical Services, the communications centers who coordinated with citizens and the search and the Rutherford County Emergency Communications District.

During the search, law enforcement agencies always had a good idea of the area where the fugitives were hiding, the sheriff said. They focused around the area so they could respond instantly.

Both Halfacre and Baxter will be charged with aggravated assault of a first responder and felony escape.

"There will be other charges as the investigation unfolds," Fitzhugh said. "This is still a very active investigation."

Halfacre was being held on charges of aggravated robbery, two counts of aggravated assault, unlawful possession of a weapon in a commission of a felony, possession of a prohibited weapon and vandalism.

Baxter was held for failing to appear in court on felony burglary and theft charges.


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.


UPDATE: As of Thursday (10/11/18) morning the Rutherford County School System reports that the schools will remain on Code Yellow Lockdown as a precaution because the two escaped inmates are still on the run. Due to the lockdown, the school is not allowing for visitors.

More on the escape:

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

Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh reports inmates Dewayne Halfacre, 43, of Lynchburg and Jonathan Cody Baxter, 28, of Murfreesboro, remain on the run. Spokeswoman Lisa Marchesoni says Halfacre is awaiting trial for aggravated robbery:

As for Baxter:

Marchesoni says several law enforcement partners are helping in the search for the men:

REWARD: 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 Wednesday morning (10/10/18).

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."


(MURFREESBORO) Around 12:40AM Wednesday morning (10/10/18), two inmates escaped the Rutherford County Adult Detention Center at 940 New Salem Highway. Police, scent dogs and helicopters are searching the area for 28 year old Jonathan Cody Baxter of Murfreesboro and 43 year old Dewayne Lee Halfacre of Lynchburg.

Rutherford County Schools spokesman James Evans sent out the following message to parents Wednesday...

Schools Director Bill Spurlock, who was on NewsRadio WGNS, reports they've been preparing with school resource officers since the escape to keep schools safe:

The two county schools closest to the jail are McFadden School of Excellence on Bridge Avenue and Riverdale High School on Warrior Drive.

Murfreesboro City Schools spokeswoman Lisa Trail tells NewsRadio WGNS they're taking extra precautions today in coordination with the Murfreesboro Police Department including limiting access to our buildings.

Rutherford County Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh reports, "Teams of local and state officers are searching for two inmates who overpowered a detention officer and escaped. The two climbed over the razor wire and escaped."

WGNS' Bart Walker was at the Sheriff's Office Wednesday morning...

Sheriff's deputies and Murfreesboro Police were searching throughout the area along with K-9 tracks and a Tennessee Highway Patrol helicopter. Detectives are investigating.

The detention officer was treated by Emergency Medical Services paramedics.

Both Halfacre and Baxter were last wearing white T-shirts and orange pants.

Halfacre is being held for aggravated assault and Baxter is being held for failing to appear in court on a theft charge.

If anyone spots the escapees, please call 911 immediately. Do not approach them. Please give a description of where they are located.

Also, if anyone has any information about their location, please immediately call the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office at 615-898-7770.

Read more from:
cape, Detention Center, Dewayne Lee Halfacre, Jonathan Cody Baxter, Murfreesboro, RCSO, WGNS
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