Inmate convicted of murdering Georgia prison guards dead from suicide in jail

A prisoner who was convicted of murdering two Georgia prison guards has taken his own life while awaiting his execution.

Officials with the Georgia Department of Corrections says officers found Ricky Dubose unresponsive in his cell at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson, Georgia Sunday afternoon.

Despite attempts by Emergency Medical Services, Dubose was pronounced dead shortly before 6 p.m. Sunday.

The Georgia Department of Corrections and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation will conduct an investigation into Dubose's death.

The inmate's death comes less than two weeks after a judge sentenced him to death for his roles in the murder of corrections officers Curtis Billue and Christopher Monica while aboard a prison transport bus in 2017.

Prosecutors accused Dubose and fellow prisoner Donnie Rowe of fatally shooting Monica and Billue while escaping from a prison transfer bus southeast of Atlanta. 

Security cameras on the bus recorded the violent escape while roughly 30 other prisoners witnessed the killings from the back of the bus. Dubose and Rowe overpowered the officers, stole their guns and shot them before escaping. 

The two inmates then fled in the stolen Honda Civic and drove about 25 miles north to Madison, where they ransacked a home, stealing food and clothes and leaving their prison uniforms behind.

That night, about 12 hours after the home burglary, the pair stole a Ford pickup truck from a rock quarry about 9 miles from the burglarized home when the trail had gone cold.

The fugitive inmates were arrested in Tennessee days later after another home invasions and a chase on Interstate 24. The two men were found by another homeowner while allegedly trying to steal his car.  The man held the two at gunpoint with a neighbor he called for help until the sheriff’s department could get there to arrest the fugitives.

Both escapees were serving sentences for armed robbery and other crimes. The Department of Corrections said Rowe, 48, had been serving life without parole since 2002, and Dubose, began a 20-year sentence in 2015.

If you or a loved one is feeling distressed, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The crisis center provides free and confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to civilians and veterans. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Or text HOME to 741-741 (Crisis Text Line).

CLICK HERE for the warning signs and risk factors of suicide. Call 1-800-273-TALK for free and confidential emotional support.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.