Agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement arrested three correctional officers accused of murdering an inmate at Dade Correctional Institution (CI) on February 14, 2022. The officers, Christopher Rolon, 29, Kirk Walton, 34, and Ronald Connor, 24, are each charged with murder. FDLE agents from Jacksonville and Miami, with assistance from the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, began the investigation at the request of the Florida Department of Corrections.
FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen said, “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. 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.”
Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said, “Staff misconduct, abuse or criminal behavior have no place in Florida’s correctional system. 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.”
Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Ricky Dixon said, “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. 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.”
In the early morning of February 14, a Dade CI inmate was scheduled to be transferred to Lake CI. Prior to being removed from his cell in the mental health unit, the inmate reportedly threw urine on one officer. Correctional officers were able to place handcuffs on him and remove him from his single cell.
After the inmate was removed, even though he was in handcuffs and compliant with officer commands, agents say the officers began to beat him. The inmate was beaten so badly he had to be carried to the transport van. Once inside, he was placed in a secure compartment by himself.
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. 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.
Rolon, Walton and Connor were arrested this morning and booked into the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center. One correctional officer remains at large. The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office will prosecute this case.
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