Ronald Connor, Jeremy Godbolt, Christopher Rolon and Kirk Walton face charges of second-degree murder, cruel treatment of a detainee and aggravated abuse of an elderly person.
Their arrests follow a months-long investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
“There is just no words to express my disappointment at the staff members involved in this incident,” said Ricky D. Dixon, Secretary of the Florida Department of Corrections.
Friday afternoon, Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle held a news conference where she discussed the incident that took place at the Dade Correctional Institution back in February.
“Today is a day of accountability.” she said.
Investigators said inmate Ronald Gene Ingram was scheduled for a transfer to another facility.
“It appears that, while inside his cell, Ingram had apparently thrown a cup of urine at the correctional officers assigned to facilitate that movement out of his cell,” said Fernandez Rundle.
Surveillance video appeared to show Ingram leaving his cell.
“Ingram appeared to be removed from his cell without further incident,” said Fernandez Rundle.
He was then escorted through the facility.
“Now watch his legs. He’s on his own and propelling himself,” said Fernandez Rundle.
The security footage shows the 60-year-old inmate as he is taken into a room.
“He’s standing upright. His legs are strong, it appears. Then he disappears,” said Fernandez Rundle.
Moments later, Ingram could be seen leaning on guards as he was taken to a transport van.
“Ingram was no longer able to walk on his own power. He was carried to the transport van and loaded in,” said Fernandez Rundle.
The state attorney said the FDLE’s investigation sheds some light as to what happened off camera.
“The FDLE investigation has developed sufficient evidence to prove without a reasonable doubt that Ingram was beaten out of the line of sight of the institution, where there were no surveillance cameras,” she said.
Ingram was found dead in the back of the van hours later and hundreds of miles away.
In a statement, an FDLE spokesperson wrote, “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.”
Connor, Rolon and Walton appeared before a judge, Friday morning. They are being held without bond.
Godbolt, 28, was arrested Friday at Los Angeles International Airport by LAX Police. As of Friday evening, he had not been booked.
Dixon said the investigation is ongoing and changes are being made at the facility, including bringing in a new warden to oversee those changes.
Attorneys for Rolon and Walton said their clients have the same rights as any other accused of a crime.
“The charges seem bad, and they are bad,” said Edward Martinez, Rolon’s attorney. “Mr. Rolon enjoys the same privilege anyone else has, and I hope everyone understands that.”
“He’s as innocent as anybody else until the state can prove those charges against him,” said David Donet, Walton’s attorney.
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