3 Florida correctional officers charged with murder for beating inmate

A fourth correctional officer is still at large.

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

Christopher Rolon, 29, Kirk Walton, 34, and Ronald Connor, 24, were arrested on Thursday following a month-long investigation into the fatal incident at Dade County Correctional Facility of Miami-Dade, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said.

They were arrested on multiple counts, including second-degree murder, conspiracy, aggravated assault of an elderly adult and cruel treatment of an inmate, according to prison records. Attorney information was not immediately available.

No additional information about the fourth corrections officer wanted by law enforcement has been provided.

The incident happened on the morning of Feb. 14, before the inmate was transferred to a Lake County correctional facility, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which led the death investigation with the state. from Miami Dade. Prosecutor’s Office.

After the inmate allegedly threw urine at an officer, he was handcuffed and removed from his cell in the mental health unit, at which point officers “began to beat him”, the Department of Health said. Florida law enforcement in a statement.

“The detainee was beaten so badly that he had to be carried to the transport van,” the agency said.

The detainee, whose name was not released by the agency, was placed alone in a compartment of the van. During a stopover in Ocala, more than 300 miles drive from Dade Correctional Facility, he was found dead, authorities said.

The inmate’s death was caused by a punctured lung resulting in internal bleeding, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. He also had injuries to his face and torso “consisting of a beating”, the agency said.

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

“What happened in this case is completely unacceptable and is not a representation of our system or the Dade Correctional Facility as a whole,” Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Ricky said Thursday. Dixon, in a statement. “The staff involved in this case have failed, and as an agency, we will not tolerate that.”

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

“Misconduct, abuse or criminal behavior by staff has no place in Florida’s corrections system,” Miami-Dade State’s Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a statement. “Detainees should not be subject to ‘back alley’ forms of justice which are actions in violation of Florida law.”

ABC News

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