FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A man awaiting trial for the slaying of a woman whose family founded the Halliburton oil services company slipped out of his shackles and bolted from a courthouse Friday just before a hearing on whether he could face the death penalty.
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said Dayonte Resiles, 21, eluded bailiffs about 9:30 a.m. in a fourth-floor courtroom and was seen on video surveillance escaping through an outside north door at the downtown courthouse. His black-and-white jail jumpsuit and shackles were left behind.
"We will leave no stone unturned," Israel told reporters. "We will do everything we can to bring him back into custody safely."
Much of the courthouse was evacuated several hours after the escape, but Israel said it appears Resiles was gone before authorities were able to set up a law enforcement perimeter. No one was injured in the escape.
Resiles faces murder and other charges in the Sept. 8, 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, according to a police report.
Prosecutors say Resiles killed Su during an attempted burglary and filed papers earlier this year that they planned to seek the death penalty. Resiles has pleaded not guilty and his attorney is trying to get the death penalty off the table.
Israel said deputies brought Resiles to the hearing wearing the proper handcuffs and shackles. It's unclear how he apparently removed them, but Israel said when Resiles sprinted for the courtroom door a bailiff was unable to catch him.
Defense attorney Jim Lewis, who was in the courtroom on another matter, said Resiles was seated along with other inmates in the jury box awaiting their hearings when he suddenly leaped over a low wall and took off.
"One of the deputies had him by the clothing in the back, but he slipped away," Lewis said. "He went down the end of the floor and we didn't see him again after that."
Israel said the immediate focus is on capturing Resiles, who was described in wanted posters as potentially armed and dangerous. But the sheriff said there are many questions about the escape that need to be answered.
"How this happened is certainly something that we will look into," he said.