TBI most wanted suspect in custody thanks to West Tennessee sheriff

STEWART COUNTY, Tenn. — A murder suspect who landed a spot on the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s Top 10 Most Wanted list is now in custody, thanks to the help of two officers from West Tennessee.

“I thought at that time we were going to have a firefight,” Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew said.

Belew says he was in the right place at the right time.

“It was sheer luck,” he said.

After an exhausting week of searching for accused killer Kirby Wallace, Sheriff Belew and Corporal Stacey Bostwick returned Friday morning to Stewart County with one of their K-9 officers.

After searching the area officers believed Wallace was last seen, Belew says he and Bostwick came across a field and set up inside two deer stands.

“It gave us an elevated view, so we could see a lot more than just being on the ground,” Belew said.

That’s when Belew says he spotted Wallace around 10 a.m. near an oak tree.

“As the suspect came through a brush area, I was able to identify that it was Kirby Wallace,” he said.

Belew says he waited until the suspect came closer, then made himself known.

He says at first, Wallace cooperated with commands but then ran behind a tree.

Belew says Wallace was armed at the time.

“We did find a loaded .44 caliber handgun at his front,” he said.

Belew says Wallace eventually surrendered, and that’s when he and Corporal Bostwick took him into custody.

“The community is a safer place now that this violent felon is locked up, hopefully for the rest of his life,” he said.

Wallace is being held in the Stewart County jail. He is facing three counts of first-degree murder, among other charges.

The TBI is leading the investigation.

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