MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Three prison workers have been arrested following the February beating death of an inmate at the Dade Correctional Institution, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle is scheduled to hold a news conference Friday afternoon to discuss the arrests.
“A joint press conference will be held at the Office of the State Attorney to announce the filing of criminal charges in the February 14, 2022 death of a prison inmate who was being transferred to another Florida correctional facility,” Rundle’s office confirmed in a news release.
Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Ricky D. Dixon and FDLE Miami Special Agent in Charge Troy Walker are also expected to attend the news conference.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement identified the officers as Ronald Connor, 24, Christopher Rolon, 29, and Kirk Walton, 34.
Jail records show all three were taken into custody Thursday morning on charges of second-degree murder, aggravated abuse of an elderly or disabled adult and battery/cruel treatment of a detainee.
The officers are charged in connection with the Feb. 14 fatal beating of Ronald Gene Ingram, 60, inside the Dade Correctional Institution.
According to the FDLE, Ingram was supposed to be transferred to Lake CI upstate, but prior to being removed from his cell in the mental health unit, an incident occurred in which he threw urine on one officer.
Authorities said correctional officers handcuffed the inmate, removed him from his cell and began to beat him.
Ingram was beaten so badly, he had to be carried into the transport van, authorities said.
The FDLE said he was placed inside a secure compartment by himself in the van.
“On the way to Lake CI, the van made a stop in Ocala where the inmate was found deceased, laying on a bench inside the van,” a news release from the FDLE stated. “The Medical Examiner determined the death was caused by a punctured lung leading to internal bleeding. In addition, the inmate had injuries to his face and torso consistent with a beating.”
“What happened in this case is completely unacceptable and is not a representation of our system, or of Dade Correctional Institution as a whole. The staff involved in this case failed, and as an agency we will not stand for this,” Dixon said in a statement. “FDC is committed to providing a safe and professional environment for inmates and offenders. All inmates, regardless of their crimes have a right to serve their time free from victimization and abuse.”
Ten officers from the Florida Department of Corrections were initially placed on administrative leave following the inmate’s death. Authorities confirmed that one officer who is charged in the case remains at large.
“In the past two and a half months, FDLE agents and analysts have worked more than 1,700 hours on this investigation, conducting more than 45 interviews and writing 77 investigative reports so far,” FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen said in a statement. “I am proud of the work our members have done on this case and our partnership with State Attorney Rundle to ensure justice on behalf of the victim and his family.”
5 p.m. report