Murder suspect who escaped Florida courthouse apprehended


FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A murder suspect who authorities say escaped from a South Florida courthouse with the help of five other people has been apprehended in a nearby county.

The Broward County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that the search for 21-year-old Dayonte Resiles ended with his capture shortly before 11 p.m. Wednesday in Palm Beach County.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel told reporters early Thursday that Resiles surrendered at a Days Inn in West Palm Beach. Resiles, who was alone, obeyed orders from a SWAT team to come out of a room, Israel said. He lay on the ground and allowed himself to be handcuffed.

No force was necessary, the sheriff said.

There probably will be people eligible for the $50,000 reward that had been offered for information leading to his capture, Israel said.

Resiles bolted out of a Fort Lauderdale courtroom last Friday as he was awaiting a hearing, ran down several flights of stairs and got away with help from accomplices, authorities say. Five people have been arrested and charged with helping him flee.

Resiles is accused in the 2014 stabbing death of 59-year-old Jill Halliburton Su, whose family founded the Halliburton oil services company. Her body was found, bound at the hands and feet and stabbed multiple times, in the bathtub of her home in Davie, Florida, according to a police report.

Prosecutors say Resiles killed Su during an attempted burglary, and they filed papers earlier this year saying they planned to seek the death penalty. Resiles has pleaded not guilty and his attorney is trying to get the death penalty off the table.

Investigators say Friday’s escape was carefully planned by Resiles and his accomplices.

Resiles was sitting in the jury box when he escaped his shackles, jumped a courtroom barrier and ran past bailiffs. A car was waiting near the courthouse with a change of clothes, authorities say.

Fellow jail inmate Walter M. Hart III, 22, on Wednesday became the fifth person charged in the escape. Courthouse video shows Hart, who is awaiting trial in a separate 2014 murder case, “work in concert with Resiles to begin to defeat the shackling system used to secure inmates,” according to an arrest report.

With his back to the camera, the report says Hart “holds up the waist chain, which allows Resiles to begin manipulating the restraints,” leading to his escape moments later.

Also charged are Resiles’ 18-year-old girlfriend, LaQuay Stern, who authorities say was waiting outside in the car, and three others.

According to arrest documents, the escape was planned during several phone calls and visitations.

Sheriff Israel has said armed deputies, rather than unarmed bailiffs, will now accompany maximum-security inmates in the courtroom. The sheriff has promised an investigation into the circumstances of the escape.