INDIANAPOLIS — Police reports are now detailing a disturbing timeline leading up to Marion County Sheriff’s Deputy John Durm being strangled to death by an inmate during an escape attempt.
Police reports indicate there was a five-minute gap between when Deputy Durm was first attacked and when other deputies began to perform CPR.
That timeline raises serious questions about how the sheriff’s office transports violent inmates and how those transports are monitored.
At 11:16 a.m. Monday morning, police reports claim Orlando Mitchell stepped out of a jail transport van and wrapped his handcuff chain around deputy Durm’s neck.
After the pair fell to the ground inside the Criminal Justice Center sallyport, at 11:18 a.m., Deputy Durm went unconscious.
At 11:19 a.m., Mitchell crashed the transport van into a gate and eventually hit a utility pole trying to flee.
Finally, at 11:21 a.m., two deputies and a WellPath nurse began to perform CPR on the fallen deputy.
IFD arrived on scene at 11:26 a.m. and took over CPR. IEMS arrived at 11:30 a.m. Medics left to take Durm to Eskenazi at 11:57 a.m.
“Something’s not right here. Yet here we sit with a family destroyed and an agency turned upside down,” said Indy FOP President Rick Snyder.
Speaking about Durm’s death this week, Snyder admitted the case raises some tough questions.
“I think it begs this question. How did we get here?” said Snyder.
While Snyder didn’t have the answers to his own questions, during a tour of the prisoner intake area of the new jail before it opened last year, administrators touted the facilities improved surveillance system compared to the old jail.
The preliminary affidavit filed against Mitchell claims the attack was captured on video.
“The deputies who walk into the jail every day walk into a place where there’s over 180 people charged with murder. There are 2,400 prisoners over there,” said Sheriff Kerry Forestal on Monday.
After announcing the death on Monday, the sheriff admitted work at the jail can be dangerous.
He has not responded to questions about whether the surveillance cameras were being watched in real time or why Deputy Durm was transporting an accused murder suspect alone.
The sheriff’s office is conducting an internal investigation into the tragic events.
Everyone respects Deputy Durm’s long service to the community and no one is blaming deputy Durm for how he died, but it is important to see if his employer is making any changes in policy to protect any other deputies from falling victim.
Mitchell was in jail on a murder charge after being arrested for shooting his son’s mother outside of a daycare in 2022.
After being spotted in downtown the day of that murder, IMPD officers shot Mitchell in the leg and took him into custody.
Court records filed last year show Mitchell had repeatedly threatened Krystal Walton’s life before that murder.
Mitchell is now being held in the Johnson County Jail.