Inmate Strangles Deputy With Handcuffs In Escape Attempt

You really can’t blame inmate Orlando Mitchell for trying to escape, it’s something which officers in Indianapolis, Indiana, should have been expecting. Since he was already charged with one murder, why not make it two? He killed Marion County Sheriff’s Deputy John Durm by strangling him with the chain on his handcuffs.

Inmate strangles deputy

Inmate Orlando Mitchell was jailed in connection with the death of his ex-girlfriend, Krystal Walton. Marion County Sheriff’s Deputy John Durm was transporting the 34-year-old accused murderer back to prison on July 10 after a hospital visit, using the standard van. According to court documents everything went normal until the van pulled back in to the jail.

The assault happened while the vehicle was parked inside the jail’s “sally port.” That’s the fortified entrance to the city’s south side Adult Detention Center.

The 61-year-old Sheriff’s Deputy is described as a 38-year veteran of the sheriff’s department, who was married with four children. He wasn’t as alert as he should have been. Video of the incident shows Deputy Durm “arriving at the detention center about 11:30 a.m.

He can be seen exiting the van to open the rear door. That’s when the inmate attacked. Mitchell opened the van’s inner door and can be seen “raising his hands above Durm’s head and placing them around Durm’s neck, according to the affidavit.” He was handcuffed.

The inmate effectively used “the chain linking his handcuffs to choke Deputy Durm,” the incident report notes. While “Durm tried to get the chain off of his neck, both he and Mitchell fell to the ground.” Pretty much standard procedure if you’re trying to garrote someone who’s fighting back.

Mitchell stays on top of Durm, continuing to choke him until Durm quits moving.” Once the deputy stopped struggling, “Mitchell then found Durm’s handcuff key, unlocked his handcuffs,” and got into the van. He didn’t get far.

Still in custody

Once behind the wheel, the inmate “backed it up and exited the sally port of the detention center while smashing into a gate.” After that, “he then drove the van a short distance and crashed into a wooden pole before other deputies returned him to custody.

Deputy Durm was pronounced dead at the hospital and the Medical Examiner calls it “ligature strangulation.” Even though the coroner calls it homicide, they haven’t charged Mitchell with anything yet.

The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office explains that while police are investigating the attack as an “intentional act of homicide,” a “charging decision” was not expected for at least a few days.

They did file a probable cause affidavit stating the pertinent facts. Mitchell has been an inmate of the facility since September of 2022.

He’s waiting for his trial to start in the murder of his ex-girlfriend. Krystal Walton, age 32, “was fatally shot while dropping her children off at a daycare.

The inmate was charged in that crime with “murder, intimidation, strangulation, confinement, domestic battery, intimidation, invasion of privacy, and residential entry.” His lawyer isn’t returning calls for comment.

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