After a 7-day manhunt, Kirby Gene Wallace was captured. That was in early October of 2018. Now, Wallace has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
In the end, it was Henry County (Tennessee) Sheriff Monte Belew and Cpl. Stacey Bostwick and his bloodhound that located Wallace.
Belew was called in the wee hours of the morning Friday after the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office said they caught a scent and a possible trail or path Wallace may have taken. Belew and Bostwick headed out at 2:30 a.m. As dawn approached, they located two deer stands, elevated areas that provided a view of the woods, 50 feet apart from one another. The sheriff got on one side, Bostwick and his dog on the other. They staked out the area from the stands. They waited and watched.
At 10:15 Friday morning, Belew saw movement. He saw that it was Wallace, just 40 yards away. He’d stepped under an oak tree. Wallace did not see Belew, who let Wallace get closer, around 25 yards away when the sheriff identified himself and “drew down on him,” an AR-15 semi-automatic. Wallace was initially cooperative but then ducked behind a tree. Belew thought he was about to be in a firefight with Wallace who had wrapped his arms around his waist, but the fugitive stepped out from behind the tree, put his hands up and got on his knees. He was cuffed by both Bostwick and Belew and they found a loaded handgun in his waistband. Belew said Wallace said he planned on having a shootout but realized “we had the drop on him.”
Original post published Thursday Oct. 4:
Authorities in Tennessee have been hunting Kirby Gene Wallace for six days. The career criminal is on the run following a violent and murderous crime spree rocking Montgomery and Stewart counties, northwest of Nashville. Police said he’s killed two people including an elderly woman, carjacked and kidnapped a woman in her 80s, assaulted and robbed at least three victims and even set one victim’s house ablaze. Law enforcement says he’s armed, desperate and extremely dangerous hiding out in the thick, rugged woods, hills and valleys atop an ancient and vast cave system.
The residents of the area in northern Tennessee near the Kentucky border where 53-year-old Wallace was last spotted are on edge. Police are warning frightened residents to take precautions including keeping doors and windows locked as a perimeter has been set-up in the areas known as Woodlawn and Indian Mound with roads closed and local schools on “lock-out,” meaning no one can get into area schools without identification. In specific, authorities think Wallace is in the dense woods surrounding Poplar Springs, Welker and Cumberland City roads.
The manhunt has intensified in the last several days, but some are worried that he’s escaped law enforcement, that despite police teams on the ground with K9’s and state police searching from the air.
In addition to law enforcement rewards leading to his capture, Montgomery County government announced Thursday afternoon that it’s offering a $10,000 reward to whoever helps authorities arrest Wallace and by Thursday night, the total bounty for Wallace was $20,000.
The last sighting Wednesday had Wallace in a wooded area wearing camouflage, carrying a blue backpack and armed with a “long gun.”
Residents who live in the area where police believe Wallace is hiding are taking no chances.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. With the Manhunt For Wallace in Its Sixth Day, His Name Was Added to the Tennessee 10 Most Wanted List
In early May, Wallace was arrested for tying up a woman and robbing her. Local media reported Wallace allegedly broke into a friend’s home, tied her to her bed with rope, cord and duct tape, and, threatened to kill her if she didn’t give him the correct pin number to her bank card. Police said he stole electronics from her and freed her before leaving her home. He was arrested two days later and was held in jail for two months before being released in early July. Two months later, his violent rampage began.
On Sept. 28, Wallace was added to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s Top 10 Most Wanted list.
Wallace is wanted by the TBI for the Stewart County Sheriff’s Office for one count of first degree murder, one count of felony murder, one count of attempted murder, one count of aggravated arson, two counts of especially aggravated kidnapping, two counts of especially aggravated robbery, and one count of especially aggravated burglary. He’s also wanted by Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office for one count of especially aggravated kidnapping, one count of aggravated burglary, and one count of theft of property.
Wallace is considered armed and very dangerous. A reward of $20,000 is being offered for information leading to his arrest.
2. Police Said Wallace Killed 2 People, Kidnapped, Carjacked, Robbed, Stabbed & Set Victims’ House Ablaze in the Past 10 Days
According to police reports and local media, on Sept. 23, an elderly couple returned home from church to find a burglar in their house. The man, who police said was Wallace, allegedly attacked and then tied up Teddy and Brenda Smith. He then set their house on fire and fled in the couple’s 2005 black Chrysler 300. Brenda Smith, 63, died at scene, local media reported. Her husband was “able to get away and call 911.”
Four days later, on Sept. 27, a very elderly woman reported to be in her mid-to-late 80’s was preparing to drive home from church when Wallace allegedly approached her at her car, forced her inside at knife point, displayed a loaded rifle, threatened to kill her and then disassembled her phone. Based on reports, the woman drove to her home, and Wallace is alleged to have tied her to her bed and then fled, stealing her 2013 silver Ford Focus.
Two days later, a witness reported to police they’d seen Wallace in the stolen car in the same general area in Stewart County.
On the morning of Sunday Oct. 1, a young person called 911 and reported seeing a man in camouflage clothing walking around their home armed with a handgun. A short time later, police found a person who lived near the area where the man was seen shot and killed. A stolen truck, crashed and abandoned, was located and that’s the area where police believe Wallace took off into the woods.
3. Wallace’s Criminal Record Stretches Back 35 Years
According to local media and court and police records, Wallace was first arrested for stealing a car in 1983 for auto theft in Dickson County. Every couple of years after, when he was not incarcerated, Wallace was picked up for possession of stolen property, burglary, and larceny. By 1990, Wallace went from burglary to armed robbery and spent a number of years in a maximum security prison.
In 2008, Wallace was arrested and did a bid for driving under the influence. Three years later, was charged with drug possession. In ’13 and again in 2015, he was locked up for violating parole, the latter came from possession of oxycodone, DUI and other charges. In April he was charged with aggravated assault and then in May, the charges for trying up and robbing his friend. He was released from jail. Two months later, his rampage began police said.
4. Frightened Residents Have Been Cautioned to Lock Doors & Remain Alert
Local media reported that in the past few days there have been a number of sightings of the on-the-run career criminal. One man told police he heard his dogs barking and saw an armed man try to come into his porch, but the suspect took off into the woods. By Monday, after reportedly killing a resident during a carjacking, the manhunt intensified.
In the midst of the hunt for Wallace, communities near the perimeter remain on edge; roads and intersections are closed, local schools on locked and residents are urged to keep their doors locked.
Local media reported, “Woodlawn Elementary and Liberty Elementary will remain on lockout. Law enforcement will again be positioned at the two elementary schools. Bus routes north of the search area will be accompanied by law enforcement.”
Thursday afternoon, Montgomery County upped the reward and by late Thursday, the bounty for Wallace was $20,000.
5. The Hunt For Wallace is Through Mountainous, Densely Wooded Terrain Peppered with Caves, Creeks & Deep Valleys
As the manhunt for Wallace continues, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department is asking for people to be careful, vigilant and, for locals, a little help with supplies.
A Thursday briefing from law enforcement provided new information including a recent sighting. “Very credible information” has come in. “We can say with confidence is the area is covered pretty well,” said Montgomery County Sheriff John Fuson, but the terrain is the problem: “It’s very very rugged terrain …” He said hundreds from many agencies are searching “methodically.” Federal, state, local and Tribal law enforcement are involved. Residents are volunteering and offering supplies and churches have opened their doors to searchers.
Topographical maps have been created for searchers. The terrain and vegetation is “hindering” the search, authorities said. Valleys, known as ‘hollows’ can dip and then rise as high as more than 450 feet. The area has dense vegetation, dry and wet creek beds, caves that can take hours to traverse, and on top of the rough terrain, the weather is not cooperating. With temperatures in the high 80s and humidity levels in the 60s, the feel-like temperatures are hovering well above 85 degrees Fahrenheit. There’s also old shacks, hunting cabins and other makeshift dwellings in the mountains that are being searched.
Some people that live in the area have moved into hotels, police said during a press conference Thursday.
As far as people taking the law into their own hands, police said contact them first but stressed folks should “protect your families and yourselves and your home but don’t worry about your property outside of your home,” Fuson said.
Meanwhile, a look at Wallace’s Facebook page cracks open a window into his attitude toward law enforcement.
“All you weak snitching. Police calling that got something against me know where I live and they no police calling over here com3 get some or just keep living on welfare Mr and keep your mouth shut and. Out of my bus.iness”