FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida murder suspect who disappeared after bolting from a courtroom received help from his girlfriend and three others as part of a plot that had been planned during jailhouse calls and visits, officials said Sunday.
The four have been arrested but suspect Dayonte Resiles remains at large, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said.
Israel said Resiles' 18-year-old girlfriend, LaQuay Stern, parked her silver BMW under a bridge next to the Broward County Courthouse on Friday, where she waited with Winston Russell, 22.
Meanwhile, two 17-year-old twin brothers went into the courtroom where Resiles, 21, was awaiting a hearing on whether he would face the death penalty in his upcoming trial on charges that he murdered a member of the Halliburton business family during a home invasion robbery almost two years ago.
As Resiles slipped out of his handcuffs and ankle shackles and broke for the door, Israel says at least one of the twins coughed into a cellphone to signal Stern and Russell that he was on his way. Resiles in the hallway shed his jail jumpsuit, fled out a courthouse door and into Stern's car, Israel said. There, Russell gave him clothes and kept for himself in a bag a generic police uniform, Israel said. The uniform's purpose is unknown, Israel said.
Stern and Russell then drove Resiles to an apartment from which he disappeared, Israel said. He said the search remains focused on South Florida but a nationwide alert has been issued. Rewards totaling $20,000 are being offered for his capture.
"The fact that Resiles remains at large tells me that there are others aiding and abetting in his escape," Israel said.
According to arrest documents, the escape was planned during several phone calls and visitations Resiles had with Stern and Russell. The documents say Stern and Russell confessed and laid out the plan to investigators.
Stern and Russell are charged with escape and accessory after the fact to capital murder and are being held without bail at the Broward County Jail. The twins face the same charges as juveniles.
Israel said again that while there is no indication Resiles received help from a guard or other law enforcement agent, an internal affairs investigation has been opened. He said one area of focus will be on how Resiles was able to shed his restraints.
"There is only two ways to get out of cuffs -- either they weren't put on tight or you have a cuff key," he said.
Resiles faces murder charges in the September 2014 killing of Jill Halliburton Su, grand-niece of Halliburton Co. founder Erie P. Halliburton. Her body was found, bound at the hands and feet and stabbed multiple times, in the bathtub of her home in Davie, Florida.