4 Florida corrections officers charged with murder of an alleged inmate 2022-04-29 18:35:00

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Ronald Connor, 24, Christopher Rollon, 29, and Kirk Walton, 34, were arrested Thursday by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the agency said. State Attorney Catherine Fernandez-Randel said Jeremy Goodbolt, 28, was taken into custody on Friday.

Randell said at a news conference Friday that they were being booked on charges of premeditated murder, conspiracy, aggravated battery and other charges.

Walton’s attorney, David Dunnett Jr., declined to comment Friday, and Connor’s attorney did not respond to a request for comment by press time. It is not clear if the other two have lawyers.

Officers Ronald Connor, Christopher Rollon and Kirk Walton were arrested Thursday.

The incident that led to Thursday’s arrests occurred on the morning of February 14, when inmate Ronald Ingram was in the process of being transferred from Dade Correctional Institution to another facility, Randell said. He is reported to have urinated on an officer before he was removed from his cell in the mental health unit.

The agency said that corrections officers then handcuffed him and took him from his cell. Then, “even though he was handcuffed and in compliance with the officers’ orders, the agents say the officers started beating him,” she said.

“The inmate was so badly beaten that he was taken to the transport truck,” the agency said, adding that he was placed in a secure cabin alone.

In the surveillance video shown at Friday’s press conference, Ingram can be seen walking independently from his cell to the transfer area with corrections officers. Randall said the group had been out of sight of the camera for a while, during which time investigators believe Ingram may have been beaten. When the group returned to the camera view, it appears that Ingram can no longer walk unaided.

On its way to the other facility, the truck stopped in Ocala, Florida, and the prisoner was found dead, lying on a seat inside the truck, according to the agency.

The agency said that the cause of his death was a hole in the lung that led to internal bleeding, adding that the man had injuries to his face and torso consistent with being beaten. Randall said the examiner determined the man’s death was a murder.

“We all understand that misconduct, abuse, or criminal behavior has no place in Florida’s reform system,” Randell said. “Individuals who have been sentenced to prison by our criminal courts have lost their liberty but not their basic rights. They should not be subject to forms of ‘background’ justice, which are actions that violate Florida law.”

Florida Secretary of Corrections Ricky Dixon expressed his “utter disappointment” in the employees allegedly involved in the incident.

“Based on the facts presented today, these men have broken the trust of the public and exhausted the trust of those they work with,” Dixon said.

Dixon mentioned a number of changes that have been made since Ingram’s death, including moving the warden in charge of the facility, “although I fully trust” him, he said.

CNN’s Melissa Alonso contributed to this report.

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