EATONTON, Ga. — The death penalty murder trial of Ricky Dubose will not go forward this year as planned.
Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge Alison T. Burleson granted a continuance shortly after 1 p.m. Friday.
Dubose is accused of shooting to death Georgia Department Corrections officers Sgt. Curtis Billue and Sgt. Christopher Monica in a prison bus escape that happened June 13, 2017, in Putnam County.
Their escape led to a nationwide manhunt that ended in Rutherford County, Tennessee after the inmates surrendered to a man and his son before they were turned over to local, state and federal authorities.
Dubose and a co-defendant Donnie Rowe are slated for separate trials.
Dubose was scheduled to be tried for the murders at the end of September this year. Jury selection was slated to begin in Glynn County before testimony started in Putnam County Superior Court where the trial was to be held.
The trial is now slated for sometime early next year. The Rowe case is set to begin Oct. 30, with jury selection held in Grady County.
The state is seeking the death penalty.
The continuance was sought by Dubose’s lead defense attorney, Gabrielle Amber Pittman. She filed the motion with the court on Tuesday, Aug. 6.
Pittman said Dubose’s legal team cannot provide effective assistance of counsel to Dubose at trial in September and that he would be “severely and irreparably prejudiced.”
“The defense investigation is still ongoing at this time and defense counsel is still preparing for trial,” Pittman said in her motion. “Counsel for Mr. Dubose cannot and will not be ready for trial on Sept. 30, 2019.”
District Attorney Stephen A. Bradley declined public comment but did speak this afternoon in the hearing before Judge Burleson indicating the state will seek Dubose’s juvenile records.