IRWINTON – Hundreds of family, friends and law enforcement officers from across Georgia attended funeral services Saturday for one of two Georgia Department of Corrections officers murdered earlier this week when two convicts escaped from a state transport bus between Sparta and Eatonton.

Because attendance was so large, funeral services were held in the auditorium of Sgt. Curtis Billue’s alma mater, Wilkinson County High School. Funeral services for Sgt. Christopher Monica, of Milledgeville, meanwhile, will be held Tuesday at Milledgeville First United Methodist Church.

During the funeral services at the school, Pastor Harold J. Banks, reading from Proverbs in the Bible, told the hundreds there to pay their last respects to Sgt. Billue that they should as the passage instructs: “Trust the Lord with all of your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. And then He says in all ways, acknowledge Him and He will make straight your paths.”

Banks’ message was what people should do at a time like this.

“The sub-topic I’d like to use, if you don’t mind, the directions of Officer Curtis Billue in times like this...,"he explained. 

He then offered a prayer to those assembled, including Billue’s family, including his two sons, his 94-year-old father, and other family members, close friends and many from law enforcement, including hundreds from the Georgia Department of Corrections.

Banks said others had talked about Billue’s ultimate professionalism; they talked about how he was the best in the state, and they talked about the fact that he was a hero.

“There’s so many things I could reflect on concerning Officer Curtis Billue,” Banks said. “I could talk about how he was an adventurer and how he loved wildlife and he was a real outdoorsman.”

In closing, he asked those assembled to acknowledge God by forgiving the two escapees who murdered Sgt. Billue and Sgt. Monica.

“If you want forgiveness, you have to give forgiveness,” Banks said

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