Escaped inmate, murder suspect kills himself as cops surround his car
A convicted robber who escaped from a Georgia prison and became a suspect in a Florida murder this week killed himself Tuesday night
By Nelson Oliveira
New York Daily News
GULF COUNTY, Fla. — A convicted robber who escaped from a Georgia prison and became a suspect in a Florida murder this week killed himself Tuesday night as police surrounded his car during a massive manhunt in the Panhandle.
Authorities said U.S. marshals and Gulf County deputies spotted 34-year-old Stephen Smith driving on U.S. Route 98 and were able to stop him, but he “immediately placed a pistol to his head and committed suicide.”
Police believe Smith shot and killed Daniel Upton, 30, during a botched drug deal Monday morning — just days after he failed to return to prison from a work-release program.
The inmate was serving time at Clayton Transitional Center, a minimum-security facility in Forest Park, Georgia. He began his sentence in February 2018 and was expected to be released no later than September 2021, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections.
The U.S. Marshals Service was offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.
Police said the victim in the deadly drug deal gone wrong identified Smith and an alleged accomplice, Destiny Terry, before he lost consciousness and died.
Terry, 44, was not the shooter, but she helped Smith connect with Upton and “was present during the shooting,” authorities said in a news release. She was arrested Tuesday and charged with being a principal to second-degree murder.
The woman remains in custody at the Gulf County Detention Facility.
Authorities in Gulf and Bay counties are investigating Tuesday night’s incident.
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