Georgia prison guard slain when two inmates escaped remembered as a hero

By ASSOCIATED PRESS | Source, The DailyMail

A corrections officer who was slain while transporting inmates was a hero who spent his career protecting other people, Georgia’s top prison official said at the man’s funeral.

Hundreds of mourners gathered Saturday in central Georgia to remember Sgt. Curtis Billue, one of two Georgia prison guards killed when two inmates escaped Tuesday from a prison transfer bus.

Law enforcement officers from around the state joined relatives and friends of Billue for his funeral at Wilkinson County High School in McIntyre. Billue was 58.

Members of the Georgia Department of Corrections carry the body of corrections officer Sgt. Curtis Billue out of the Wilkinson County High School gymnasium after funeral services Saturday, June 17

Georgia corrections officers hold hands while praying during funeral services for corrections officer Sgt. Curtis Billue on Saturday, June 17

Billue’s casket was draped with an American flag. He was remembered as a military veteran and devoted father of two sons.

‘We know he served in many roles, but hero comes to mind. Curtis Billue gave his whole life to protecting and serving others,’ Georgia Department of Corrections Commissioner Greg Dozier said, according to The Telegraph newspaper of Macon.

Authorities said Billue and Sgt. Christopher Monica, 42, were overpowered and shot with their own weapons.

Escaped inmates Donnie Rowe and Ricky Dubose were captured Thursday in Tennessee.

Denise Billue kisses her hand (pictured) before placing it on the casket of her brother Sgt. Curtis Billue during his funeral   Sgt. Curtis Billue

A large photograph of corrections officer Sgt. Curtis Billue stands besides flowers during his funeral

Baldwin State Prison Warden hands Denise Billue her brother Sgt. Curtis Billue's badge during funeral services

One of the murdered guards was Christopher Monica (pictured), who had been a prison guard since 2009Dozier has promised they ‘will be brought to justice swiftly for their heinous crime against our officers.’

Monica’s funeral is set for Tuesday in nearby Milledgeville.

Bruce Billue said his brother never hesitated to help someone in need.

‘Curtis’ heart was engraved with service. He took all these position and tried to excel and make life better for others,’ Bruce Billue said. ‘We will miss you, love you beyond words.’

By giving his own life, Curtis Billue may have saved other officers, Pastor Harold Banks said.

He said the sergeant would want his loved ones to forgive the men who committed these ‘atrocious acts.’

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