“The look in her eyes at the beach, the way she looked at me...she was the most happy girl alive,” Dalton Hayes, 18, says about his 13-year-old accomplice in the first interview since their January arrest.
“I would do it all over again to protect her.”
Hayes recently opened up in a jailhouse interview…
The crime spree lasted about two weeks and now he is facing 20 years in prison. The young couple managed to steal trucks and bounce checks across the states, from Kentucky, Tennessee, North Caroline and Georgia before getting caught and arrested in Florida.
In the interview, Hayes insisted that his young partner begged him to flee after she said her family abused her, this story was denied by the family.
When the two took off, Hayes didn’t even know his new lover’s age.
“Some people think it’s a bad thing because she’s 13,” Hayes says. “I had no clue she was 13.”
Hayes claims he tried his best to look after her when they were on the run, he managed to always make sure she had food in her stomach even though they had no cash.
Apparently, she was the one who pressured him to keep the crime spree going, even when he said he wanted to just go home.
“I knew we was gonna get caught,” Hayes says. “I knew what we were facing. She thought it was all a joke.”
He has a lot of regret, but he says he would repeat the crime spree again if it meant saving her from her abusive family.
“What I did was not smart, by no means,” he admits in the interview. “I could’ve went about it a million different ways.”
But he says he’s still hung up on her, crying in jail because he misses her so much.
The "Bonnie and Clyde" label that the media has given the couple is not accurate at all, Hayes insists that they are nothing like the dangerous duo.
“I think the news broadcasters took it way out of proportion, ‘cause it wasn’t no Bonnie and Clyde” Hayes says. “It was nothing like that.”
Nonetheless, he calls Bonnie and Clyde “two people that I’ve always liked.”
Hayes faces 18 charges, including statutory rape. Police haven’t released information about the girl's charges because she is a minor.