Search Continues For Inmate Who Escaped Broward County Courthouse, May Be Armed

A massive search continues in Fort Lauderdale after a murder suspect escaped police custody at the Broward County Courthouse Friday morning.

Around 9:30 a.m., an inmate later identified as 21-year-old Dayonte Resiles reportedly jumped out of the jury box inside a courtroom and ran. Resiles broke free of handcuffs and shackles before leaving his jumpsuit on the ground in the hallway. Detectives say they have received information that Resiles is armed.

(Photo Courtesy J.A.A.B. Blog)

Witnesses inside the courtroom said that a BSO deputy was able to grab onto Resiles' clothing, but the inmate got loose. A prosecutor was also hurt when she was hit by the door to the courtroom as Resiles fled.

Veteran prosecutor Brian Cavanagh was in the courtroom when Resiles ran off.

"I saw a blur and I saw a black and white striped blur, like a very quick Cheshire cat running in the corner of my eye and obviously it was a defendant, I knew it was somebody who was in the jury box," he said.

A short video released by the BSO showed Resiles running out of a courthouse door.

Broward Sheriff Scott Israel said Resiles was shackled appropriately at the time of his escape.

"We've left no stone unturned, every tactical unit I have available to me, the Fort Lauderdale Police Department and all our assets and resources, our canine, our helicopters, our marine patrol, are looking for Mr. Resiles," Israel said.

Resiles was arrested after the 2014 murder of Jill Halliburton Su. Su, a relative of the Halliburton oil empire in Texas, was married to Dr. Nan Yao Su, a prominent entomology professor at the University of Florida's Research and Development Center in Fort Lauderdale.

She was found by her son inside the family's Davie home. 

Resiles was in court Friday for a hearing over prosecutors' efforts to seek the death penalty in his case.

His defense attorney said he was stunned and hoped his client would turn himself in.

"Sit and wait and hope he turns himself in without someone else hurting him in the process," attorney Dohn Williams said.

Fort Lauderdale Police and Broward Sheriff's Officers searched the area around the courthouse, along with the surrounding neighborhood. Resiles was last seen wearing a white shirt and black shorts.

At one point, deputies and officers responded to the 500 block of Northwest 4th Avenue after hearing possible shots fired, officials said. A perimeter was set up and authorities cleared several apartments but Resiles wasn't found.

In addition to the 2014 murder arrest, Resiles' record shows multiple arrests for burglary and grand theft.

Stay tuned to NBC 6 on air and online for updates.

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