4 Miami-Dade prison guards arrested over inmate’s death after beating

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

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement identified the officers as Jeremy Godbolt, Ronald Connor, Christopher Rolon, and Kirk Walton. Prosecutors accused them of causing the death of Ronald Gene Ingram.

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.

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.

Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle confirmed at a news conference Friday that Ingram was serving a life sentence in prison for murder.

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. Authorities confirmed that one officer who is charged in the case remains at large.

“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.”

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