Inmate faces charges after helping Broward County courthouse escapee get out of shackles
BSO says Walter Hart helped Dayonte Resiles get out of shackles before escape
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – An inmate who helped a 21-year-old murder suspect get free from his shackles before his escape from the Broward County courthouse last week has been arrested.
Walter Hart faces additional charges of escape and accessory after the fact for his role in helping Dayonte Resiles get away, Broward Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Veda Coleman-Wright said Wednesday.
According to an arrest affidavit released Wednesday, surveillance video showed Hart helping Resiles "to defeat the shackling system used to secure inmates."
"Hart, using his back to shield deputies' view, unlatches and holds up the waist chain, which allows Resiles to begin manipulating the restraints, ultimately allowing him to escape," the report said. "During Hart's involvement, both he and Resiles look in the direction of the deputies and the cameras as to ensure nobody is watching."
Hart's attorney said his client had nothing to gain by helping Resiles escape.
"I stand by my client," defense attorney Sidney Fleischman said. "I do not believe he would involve himself in this."
Four others -- LaQuay Stern, 18, of Palm Beach; Winston Russell Jr., 22, of Sunrise; and twins Kreton Barnes and TreVon Barnes, 17, of West Palm Beach -- also face charges for their alleged roles in the escape.
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said Resiles jumped out of the jury box inside a fourth-floor courtroom and ran downstairs, eluding two unarmed bailiffs.
Israel said Resiles took off his jumpsuit, handcuffs and shackles during his escape. Surveillance video showed him running out of the courthouse wearing a white T-shirt and black shorts.
The sheriff said the twins sat in the courtroom, where a pretrial hearing for Resiles was scheduled, while Stern and Russell waited in her silver BMW on the north side of the courthouse. He said one of the twins coughed into a cellphone as Resiles made his getaway, signaling to Stern and Russell that Resiles was on his way to the car.
Days after the escape, a detention deputy at the courthouse briefly lost his handcuff key. It was later found in possession of burglary suspect Keenan Renois, who hid the key in a hole in his jail-issued pants.
Willie Jones, a candidate vying to unseat Israel, said he is concerned about public safety at the courthouse. The former BSO sergeant would like to see an outside agency review the courthouse protocol.
"We need a third eye on it," Jones told Local 10 News reporter Derek Shore. "We need an objective eye on it to give us the best possible solutions to correct what's going on."
The Broward County Police Benevolent Association agrees.
"We have concerns about what has gone on at the courthouse in the past weeks," Broward County PBA President Jeff Marano said in a statement. "While we don't feel the personnel is to blame, we the believe the infrastructure and procedures need to be reviewed as soon as possible."
Resiles is charged in the 2014 death of Jill Halliburton Su, whose body was found in a bathtub in her Davie home. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Resiles, who remains at large.
A $50,000 reward is now being offered for information leading to the arrest of Resiles. In addition to the $10,000 being offered by Broward County Crime Stoppers, another $10,000 is being offered by Ron and Lauren Book. The Sheriff's Foundation of Broward County is offering a $25,000 reward, while the Casino @Dania Beach is pitching in $5,000.
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