Crime: Rutherford County inmates overpower officer, escape detention center

Photo courtesy of the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office

Last updated on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018, at 2:41 p.m. to include information regarding the capture of the fugitives

Latest update: The two fugitives, Dewayne Halfacre and Jonathan Baxter, were captured near Smyrna by teams of multi-agency law enforcement officers on Thursday at approximately 11:20 a.m. Both men were charged with aggravated assault of a first responder and felony escape. Agencies joining the Sheriff’s Office in the search included Murfreesboro, Smyrna and La Vergne Police; Tennessee Highway Patrol and the Aviation Unit; the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Fusion Center; the U.S. Marshal Service; the FBI; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; and the Rutherford County Emergency Medical Services.

Update: The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation announced on Wednesday that the two escaped inmates are now on their Top 10 Most Wanted list, according to a report by The Daily News Journal. The TBI tweeted an update at 10:55 a.m. on Wednesday that the reward for information that leads to the capture of the two fugitives is now up to $5,000 each.

Teams of local and state officers are searching for two inmates who escaped the Rutherford County Detention Center around 12:40 a.m. Wednesday, according to a Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office press release.

According to the release, Dewayne Lee Halfacre, 43, of Lynchburg, and Jonathan Cody Baxter, 28, of Geneses Lane in Murfreesboro, assaulted and overpowered a detention center officer. They then climbed over the razor wire fence and escaped.

Murfreesboro Police and sheriff’s deputies have been searching for the inmates in the area, along with K-9 tracks and a Tennessee Highway Patrol helicopter. Detectives are also investigating the escape.

Halfacre and Baxter were wearing white T-shirts and orange pants at the time of their escape. Halfacre was being held for aggravated assault, and Baxter was being held for failing to appear in court on a theft charge.

If anyone spots Halfacre or Baxter, they are encouraged to not approach the inmates and to call 911.

Anyone with any information about their location is also being encouraged to call the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office at 615-898-7770.

To contact News Editor Caleb Revill, email

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