escaped inmates poster

Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office

Two fugitives who escaped Rutherford County Adult Detention Center were captured within 35 hours Thursday near Smyrna, said Rutherford County Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh.

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, Fitzhugh said.

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.


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