Son of escapee ashamed of his father's actions - WSMV Channel 4

Son of escapee ashamed of his father's actions

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Dalton Rowe, son of Georgia escapee Donnie Rowe. (WSMV) Dalton Rowe, son of Georgia escapee Donnie Rowe. (WSMV)
MANCHESTER, TN (WSMV) -

The son of a captured Georgia prison inmate is speaking out for the first time to Channel 4 sharing his feelings about what his father Donnie Rowe and expressing hurt and anger over the crimes he is accused of committing.

Dalton Rowe says he never had much of a relationship with his dad, Donnie Rowe. Their sporadic conversations were mostly over a prison phone.

“It would be every so often, I’d get a call from him,” Dalton Rowe said. “Five or six months later I’d get another call from him. Two years later, I’d get a call from him. It was off and on.”

He says he last spoke to his father about three months ago, 

“It was just a normal call. ‘Hi, how are you doing? How’s the baby doing? I hope you’re doing good. I love you. Miss you. Take to you another time,’” Rowe said.

Today he sits in shock realizing his father is accused of breaking out of a prison transport vehicle, killing two guards, fleeing to Tennessee, and holding two people hostage, before being caught after a chase.

“I’m still processing it,” Rowe said. “It’s mind-blowing to know that that was my dad that did all that and it kind of makes me feel ashamed really…I am so sorry that their lives were taken unnecessarily. It was wrong and I’m so sorry that it happened.”

He watched the news unfold Thursday night seeing his dad accused of taking a Shelbyville couple hostage as he and his cell mate Rick Dubose ran from police. 

“I knew that they were cell mates a couple of times, but I didn’t know that they were best friends and that they would do all this,” Rowe said.

Rowe said he remembers one call in particular, where he says his dad hinted he might try to break out.

“He had gave some hints to me like you know six or seven years ago, and he said one day I might have to break out and it’s gonna go nationwide or not nationwide but all around the United States, and it might end real badly or I might just be put right back in prison,” Rowe recalled.

He says he didn’t take it seriously, never thinking years later it would actually happen.

He says reading posts on social media hasn’t been easy. He had began to prepare for two harsh realities, “to either see him through court or see him in a casket.”

He says he vowed long ago to be different, to be better.

“The way his life has been is the whole reason I chose to do opposite, to never get in trouble, stay good, stay with my family and actually take care of them,” Rowe said. I may look like him and everything, sound like him sometimes, but me and him are two different people,” Rowe added.

He says he is hurt, and it will be a while before he is ready to talk to his father again.

“I love him to death,” Rowe said. “He’s still my father, and he birthed me and everything, but he still needs to pay for what he done.”

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