5th accomplice charged in murder suspect’s courthouse escape

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) – A fifth person was charged Wednesday with helping a murder suspect escape from a Florida courthouse last week as authorities boosted the reward for the at-large fugitive’s capture to $50,000.

An arrest report released by the Broward Sheriff’s Office said fellow jail inmate Walter M. Hart III, 22, was seen on surveillance video assisting 21-year-old Dayonte Resiles in getting out of his shackles as both awaited a hearing last Friday.

Resiles bolted out of a courtroom, ran down several flights of stairs and got away with the help of four other accomplices, all of whom have been arrested. A car was waiting near the courthouse with a change of clothes, authorities say.

Hart, who is awaiting trial in a separate 2014 murder case, is now charged with escape and, by helping Resiles escape, with being an accessory to Resiles’ murder charge, according to the arrest report. It says the video from a courthouse holding area shows Hart “work in concert with Resiles to begin to defeat the shackling system used to secure inmates.”

With his back to the camera, the report says Hart “holds up the waist chain, which allows Resiles to begin manipulating the restraints,” leading to his escape moments later. Sheriff Scott Israel earlier said armed deputies, rather than unarmed bailiffs, will now accompany maximum-security inmates in the courtroom.

Resiles is accused in the 2014 stabbing death of Jill Halliburton Su, 59, during an attempted robbery at her home in Davie, Florida. Su’s family founded the Halliburton oil services company.

The sheriff’s office also more than doubled the reward to $50,000 for information leading to Resiles’ capture after receiving contributions from a lobbyist and his daughter, and a local casino.

Investigators say the escape was carefully planned by Resiles and his accomplices. Resiles’ 18-year-old girlfriend, LaQuay Stern, was waiting in a car outside the courthouse with 22-year-old Winston Russell, the sheriff said previously.

Two 17-year-old twin brothers were in the courtroom when Resiles broke for the door. The sheriff said one of the brothers coughed into a cellphone to signal the pair outside that Resiles was on his way.

Israel said there will be a full investigation into the circumstances of the escape.

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