Follow CBSMIAMI.COM: Facebook | Twitter
FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – The search continues for an accused murdered who made a daring escape from the Broward County courthouse in Fort Lauderdale Friday.
Dayonte Resiles, 21, ran out of Judge Raag Singhal’s fourth floor courtroom around 9:30 a.m. prompting a massive manhunt.
Hours later, around 3 p.m., Fort Lauderdale Police set up a perimeter near NW 2nd Avenue and 6th Street following a tip about a possible sighting of Resiles.
Chopper4 was over the scene as officers and various patrol cars could be seen near an enclosed neighborhood called Regal Trace.
Moments before, deputies released surveillance video of the man they are looking for. In the video, you see Resiles running out of the courthouse through a North entrance. He was wearing a white t-shirt and black shorts.
Witnesses watched as Resiles ran out of the courtroom, shedding his jail uniform and cuffs in the process.
“We were in Judge Singhal’s courtroom. He was calling the docket, and one of the inmates bolted out of the jury space where the inmates who are in custody wait,” said attorney Jim Lewis. “He pushed open the door very violently, apparently he had slipped both his cuffs and his ankle shackles. One of the deputies had him just barely by the clothing in the back, but he slipped away. One of prosecutors in the courtroom who I think is actually pregnant was hurt. The inmate pushed the door open so violently hard it pushed her back. He then went down to the end of the floor and we didn’t see him again.”
Lewis said he got a ring side seat for Resiles’ escape.
“He was sitting behind me. I didn’t hear anything until I heard a commotion and I looked up and he was bolting, going through pass the bar which separates the audience from the actual courtroom. He made it through that first bar, pushed that open, and then it’s when he got to the big doors to get outside the courtroom where the deputy had his hand on, sort of trying to tackle him, but the guy was very athletic, very big, very strong and managed to pull away.”
Attorney Brad Cohen said he was speaking for the judge when Resiles made his move.
“I was up at the podium when the individual was trying to escape. I looked for a minute. They were all coming in, all the inmates were coming into the courtroom, and it looked for a minute like the judge thought something was going on. He looked concerned for a second. I turned back and saw a lady in the back shaking her head almost to say ‘no’ and the inmate made a run for the door. The bailiff was directly behind him and tried to grab his jumpsuit, but I think he got out of his jumpsuit and just kept running,” said Cohen.
Cohen said he noticed something odd when he first saw Resiles.
“When I turned around, he definitely didn’t have shackles on. He looked like he was in full running mode. In regards to his hands in front of him, I wasn’t sure if he had his handcuffs on at that point or not but it looked like he had at least one shackle off cause he was in full running mode when he hit the door,” said Cohen.
The courthouse was immediately placed on lockdown and a massive search was launched.
Around 1:30 p.m. Sheriff Scott Israel announced that both the old courthouse and newer wing had been searched and Resiles was no longer in the building.
Resiles attorney, Dohn Williams, said he got a text saying his client had escaped. He thought it was a joke at first and found it hard to believe when he heard what had happened.
“Very surprised. I’ve been practicing in Fort Lauderdale for 43 years and I’ve never had a client escape or attempt to escape in this matter,” said Williams.
He added that he didn’t expect this type of behavior from Resiles.
“He’s always been upbeat about the eventual outcome of the case,” said Williams.
Williams said Resiles was in court Friday because they were challenging the state as to whether the death penalty should be applicable in his case.
Resiles reportedly broke into the home of Jill Halliburton Su on September 8th, 2014 in apparent robbery attempt. He ended up stabbing her to death, according to the police.
Prosecutors say Resiles’ DNA was found on a looped green belt on a foyer mat just inside the front door. Police believe the belt was used to restrain Su. A knife found just outside the front door also had Resiles’ DNA on it.
Police crime scene video of Su’s home shows numerous blood spots on the carpet as well as jewelry boxes that appear to have been rifled through, dresser drawers pulled open and damage in a closet from the spot where police say an alarm was ripped from the wall. The video details the crime scene markers spread throughout the house, pinpointing every area that could contain evidence on the walls and floor.
Police say Su was murdered inside the master bathroom where a rear window had been broken. She was discovered near the bathtub in her underwear with her hands and feet bound.
Su, 59, had ties to the billion dollar Halliburton oil empire. She was married to renowned University of Florida entomologist Dr. Nan Yao Su.
Su volunteered at Insight For The Blind in Fort Lauderdale. She spent hundreds of hours working there for nearly a decade, recording material donated to the blind. She left behind her husband and two children.
Police said a relative found Su’s body.
Court records show Resiles is no stranger to the criminal justice system.
Since 2013, he’s been arrested six times in Broward County for charges including murder, several counts of burglary and grand theft from cases in 2014 as well as possession of ammunition by a convicted felon.
According to the court documents, in four of Resiles’ criminal cases, investigators found his DNA on items inside the home that was broken into.
CBS4’s Carey Codd spoke to one of the alleged victims of Resiles’ burglary spree in 2014.
That victim – who did not want to be named – said he’s concerned about Resiles’ escape and how he was able to get out of his cuffs or shackles and get away from deputies here at the courthouse.