Florida deputies have captured a man charged with murder and burglary after a dramatic escape last week past two bailiffs from the Broward County, Fla., courthouse.
Dayonte Resiles, 21, of Lauderdale Lakes, was apprehended without incident Wednesday night at a Days Inn in West Palm Beach.
“Our SWAT team ordered him out of the room. He came out of the room and surrendered without incident,” Broward Sheriff Scott Israel told the Miami Herald. “No force was necessary.”
Resiles escaped from a fourth-floor courtroom before his scheduled 10 a.m. hearing last Friday, his attorney H. Dohn Williams told The Washington Post.
“I was expecting him to be there with me in court Friday morning, but by the time I got there, I received a text message that he had escaped,” Williams said, adding that in 40 years of defending criminal cases, he never had a client escape. “I was literally walking into the courtroom.”
Now, new information has emerged about the escape. Authorities say Resiles somehow got hold of a handcuff key to free himself from restraints and may have received help from several people.
Resiles was seated in a jury box with other defendants, dressed in a black-and-white-striped jumpsuit and shackled at the hands, feet and waist, according to the sheriff’s office. After being seated in the top row of the jury box, deputies said they recalled seeing Resiles reach down to his feet and heard the sound of his shackles shaking.
He jumped from the jury box moments later past two unarmed bailiffs, the sheriff’s office said, and ran out of the courthouse wearing a white T-shirt and shorts.
Witnesses described the escape to local news media.
“He was right behind me,” lawyer Jim Lewis told the Sun-Sentinel. “He got up out of the jury box. Another lawyer was speaking to Judge [Raag] Singhal and I hear a bang when he ran through the swing door that separates the court from the public.”
“No one can figure how he got the leg shackles and the handcuffs off; whether he had a key or was adept at slipping them off,” Lewis said.
Prosecutor Brian Cavanagh told the newspaper that “it happened in the blink of an eye. This guy was quick. He must have been waiting for an opportunity.”
Williams, the attorney for Resiles, told the Sun-Sentinel he was “kind of shocked” when another attorney texted him the news. His client had “always been very optimistic about the potential outcome” of the case against him.
Authorities used K-9 units, marine patrols and helicopters in their search. Eventually, they received information that Resiles was holed up in hotel.
Broward officials offered tipsters $10,000 for information leading to Resiles’s capture. Another local family pledged an additional $10,000.
Over the weekend, the sheriff’s office announced the arrest of four people who, it said, aided in the escape. Three more people have been arrested in connection this week.
Resiles is charged with the 2014 murder of Jill Halliburton Su, 59 of Davie, Fla., after an unsuccessful home invasion. Prosecutors say Resiles entered Su’s home and a struggle ensued before Su died of multiple stab wounds.
Prosecutors say they located Resiles’s DNA on a knife found in the home. They are asking for the death penalty in the case.
Williams said he and Resiles are confident in their case. Resiles has pleaded not guilty. He was 19 years old at the time of the incident.