Dalton Hayes, 18, and his 13-year-old girlfriend made headlines in January 2015 when they allegedly embarked on an interstate crime spree. Dubbed the “modern-day Bonnie and Clyde” by the media after they left their small, western Kentucky hometown and allegedly evaded police for two weeks, Hayes maintains he only left Kentucky to protect his girlfriend, who he says told him she was being abused at home, an allegation her family absolutely and completely denies.

WATCH: Jailhouse Interview: Kentucky Teen Accused In Crime Spree Says He Was Engaged To 13-Year-Old

 

In the video above, Hayes tells Dr. Phil, “I want people out there to know that I did not do it to hurt her; I did it to keep her safe. Because not only then did I love her, but today, I still love her. I want people to know that I did not do it against her will. I did not force her to leave. She’s the one who said she was running, and I could not let her go by herself.”

 

“What would you say to those people who would say you wanted to protect her, but that you were the threat?” Dr. Phil asks.

 

“She was the one who begged me. She was the one who pleaded with me not to take her home. She is the one who told me she was being abused,” Hayes says. “So I thought that I did the right thing.”

WATCH:18-Year-Old Who Went On The Run With 13-Year-Old Girlfriend: ‘I Knew We Were Going To Get Caught’

 

Tune into Dr. Phil on Tuesday for his entire exclusive interview with Dalton. Check here to see where you can watch.