MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A fourth correction officer was arrested Friday in connection with a 60-year-old inmate’s death after a beating at the Dade Correctional Institution. Three were arrested on Thursday.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement identified the officers as Jeremy Godbolt, Ronald Connor, Christopher Rolon, and Kirk Walton. Despite complaints from Walton’s attorney, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Mindy Glazer determined there was probable cause to hold Connor, 24, Rolon, 29, and Walton, 34, without bond.
FDLE identified their victim as Ronald Gene Ingram. According to the arrest warrant, the medical examiner determined, blunt-force trauma to Ingram’s upper body during an assault resulted in broken ribs, a punctured right lung, and the internal bleeding that eventually killed him.
Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle announced the charges against them on Friday. She said Ingram was serving a life sentence for murder.
“Staff misconduct, abuse, or criminal behavior have no place in Florida’s correctional system,” Fernandez Rundle said in a statement. “Individuals who are sentenced to incarceration by our criminal courts have lost their freedom but not their basic rights. Inmates should not be subject to forms of ‘back alley’ justice which are actions in violation of Florida law.”
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.”
Ten officers from the Florida Department of Corrections were initially placed on administrative leave following the inmate’s death.
Connor, Rolon, and Walton are facing charges of second-degree murder, aggravated abuse of an elderly or disabled adult, and battery/cruel treatment of a detainee.
Read the excerpts from the arrest warrant