Deer Stands Used to Capture Tennessee Fugitive

Tennessee fugitive was taken into custody after a 7-day manhunt. Two deer stands provided cover and aided law enforcement in the suspect's capture.

Deer Stands Used to Capture Tennessee Fugitive

When a fugitive and suspected murderer is loose in the woods — and also wise to the terrain and nuances of rural Stewart County, Tennessee — it makes sense to use the natural elements against him.

That’s what Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew did when he and Cpl. Stacey Bostwick occupied two deer stands and lay in wait for 53-year-old Kirby Gene Wallace, who had evaded law enforcement during a 7-day manhunt. According to the Associated Press (AP), Wallace was wanted in two counties on charges that included murder, arson and kidnapping.

Deer Stands Tennessee fugitive

Fugitive Kirby Gene Wallace, age 53, was taken into custody after a 7-day manhunt in rural Tennessee. Two deer stands provided cover and aided law enforcement in the suspect's capture. Photo: Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, Tennessee

In a report filed to the Tennessean after the capture, the newspaper said Sheriff Belew came across two deer stands about 50 yards apart. Bostwick, the police officer who occupied one of the two deer stands, “handles a blood hound, Rowdy, and had gotten a good track and direction of travel at about 2 or 3 a.m. At about 10:15 a.m. Belew saw Wallace coming toward him about 40 yards away.”

Belew had an AR-15 drawn on Wallace, who started to surrender before thinking better of it and stepped behind a tree. He looked to attempt to draw a handgun, hesitated, then put his hands up, surrendering, before dropping to his knees.

"We are very fortunate we didn't end up in a shootout," Belew said to the Tennessean. "He told us it crossed his mind."

The search was made complicated by Wallace’s knowledge of the woods he had taken refuge in, as well as the unique caves and other natural hiding places abundant in the area. Nearby schools were put on “soft lockdown” and school bus routes were cancelled to avoid having children exposed.

"The land that we're having to search in, it's a disaster," Luke Williams said in an interview with Nashville’s FOX 17 prior to Wallace's capture. Williams works for a private security company and was tasked with watching more than a hundred acres just outside law enforcement's search perimeter. "This is all thistle, all thorns."

FOX 17 described Montgomery an Steward Counties as a “hunter’s paradise, but unfortunately, it’s forest and rural terrain is the perfect spot for someone hoping to fall off the map.”

Wallace became a fugitive after, “being accused of attacking a couple and setting their house on fire, killing the wife and seriously injuring the husband,” according to the AP. “He’s also accused of fatally shooting a man and stealing his truck.”

Authorities were able to close in on the suspect using K-9 units and helicopters. After Wallace was sighted three times in Stewart County in a heavily wooded area, law enforcement encircled the suspect.


Featured Photo: Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, Tennessee


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