Kentucky man who led 'Bonnie and Clyde' spree agrees to go home and face charges

EDITOR'S NOTE: The 13-year-old girl in this story is a minor and will face charges in juvenile court, therefore no longer will identify her.

The Kentucky man who, with his underage lover drew comparisons to Bonnie and Clyde before their multi-state crime spree ended in their arrest early Sunday in Florida, agreed Monday to return home to face charges.

Dalton Hayes, 18, who took off from his Kentucky home with a 13-year-old girl earlier this month, agreed to waive extradition proceedings, and, in the words of his mother, Tammy Martin, "face the consequences."

"I'll sign the papers so I can go back to Kentucky," Hayes said during a brief proceeding held via a video link-up between Bay County Jail and the Bay County Courthouse in Panama City.

Hayes and the girl were arrested without incident as they slept in a stolen pickup truck in Panama City, Fla. The two teens will face charges including burglary, theft, criminal trespassing and criminal mischief, Norman Chaffins, the sheriff of Grayson County, Ky., where the teens live, told The Associated Press. Hayes could also face charges relating to his relationship with the girl, who is not of the legal age to consent to sex in any of the states the pair was spotted in over the last two weeks. The girl will face charges in juvenile court because she is a minor.

 "I spoke to Dalton and he was very scared, and he wanted to come home."

— Norman Chaffins, sheriff of Grayson County, Ky.

Chaffins said he was relieved the crime spree ended peacefully. If the couple had not been found asleep and surrounded, he said, they may have run again. Authorities believe their travels took them to South Carolina and Georgia.

"I spoke to Dalton and he was very scared, and he wanted to come home," Chaffins said. "He wanted me to come bring him home."

Martin said the couple had been dating for about three months and that the girl portrayed herself as being 19. By the time her son realized she was a mere 13, "he was already done in love with her," Martin said.

Florida's Department of Children & Families was called to assist Panama City Beach Police, but the girl was not in the state's custody, said DaMonica Rivas, a DCF spokeswoman. "The juvenile has been taken to a safe location until arrangements with the family are made," Rivas said.

When he hit the road, Hayes was running away from trouble back home. He faces burglary and theft charges in his home county, stemming from an arrest late last year, according to Grayson County court records.

He was planning to be at the local judicial center Jan. 5 to find out if a grand jury had indicted him on the charges, his mother said. His case did not come up, but by that time the teens were gone.

Chaffins said the couple's behavior had become "increasingly brazen and dangerous."

Twice, the teens were able to evade law officers in Kentucky. They crashed the first truck they stole and hid in the woods. Then they later stole another truck nearby, Chaffins said. Police believed the two were carrying weapons as well.

The two were spotted at a Walmart in South Carolina Monday, where the teens are thought to have passed two stolen checks, Manning, South Carolina, Police Chief Blair Shaffer said.

Authorities believe they then headed to Georgia and stole a pickup truck from the driveway of a man's home in Henry County, about 30 miles southeast of Atlanta. The homeowner awoke Wednesday to find his vehicle was gone, along with two handguns he kept inside, Henry County police Lt. Joey Smith said.

Hours later, another truck the couple are suspected of having stolen in another state was found nearby. It had been crashed through a fence and abandoned behind a vacant building on neighboring property, Smith said.

Martin said her son texted her a few days after their disappearance to say the couple were in Mississippi. They were spotted soon after that in Kentucky, she said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.