3 Florida corrections officers charged with murder in the alleged beating of an inmate 2022-04-28 18:50:48

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A fourth correctional officer remains at large.

Three Florida corrections officers have been arrested for allegedly beating an inmate to death, authorities said Thursday, while a fourth remains at large.

Florida Law Enforcement said Christopher Rollon, 29, Kirk Walton, 34, and Ronald Connor, 24, were arrested Thursday after a months-long investigation into the fatal accident at Miami-Dade County’s Dade Correctional Institution.

Prison records showed that they were arrested on multiple charges, including second-degree murder, conspiracy, severe beating of an elderly adult, and cruel treatment of a detainee. The attorney’s information was not immediately available.

No additional information was provided on the fourth correctional officer sought by law enforcement.

The incident occurred on the morning of February 14, before the inmate was scheduled to be transferred to a Lake County correctional facility, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which led the death investigation along with Miami-Dade. Lawyer’s office.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said in a statement that after an inmate reportedly threw urine at an officer, he was handcuffed and removed from his cell in the mental health unit, at which point “the officers began beating him.”

“The inmate was so badly beaten that he had to be taken to the transport truck,” the agency said.

The guest, whose name the agency did not reveal, was put into the van compartment alone. Authorities said he was found dead during a layover in Ocala, more than a 300-mile drive from Dade Correctional Facility.

According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the inmate’s death was caused by a perforation of the lung that resulted in internal bleeding. The agency added that he also sustained injuries to his face and torso “consistent with the beating.”

The incident initially led the Florida Department of Corrections to place 10 officers on administrative leave. The department said an officer also resigned because of it.

“What happened in this case is totally unacceptable and does not represent our system or Dade Correctional Institution as a whole,” Florida Secretary of Corrections Ricky Dixon said in a statement Thursday. “The staff involved in this case have failed, and as an agency we will not defend that.”

The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, which is prosecuting the case, is holding a news conference Friday afternoon with the Florida Department of Corrections and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to share more details about the criminal charges.

“There is no place for employee misconduct, abuse or criminal behavior in Florida’s correctional system,” Miami-Dade District Attorney Catherine Fernandez-Randel said in a statement. “Inmates must not be subject to forms of ‘background’ justice that would be considered to be in violation of Florida law.”

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