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Sheriff asks court to send suspect in deputy’s strangulation death to Indiana prison system

The suspect used his handcuff chain to strangle Deputy Durm; he then found the handcuff key, unlocked himself and drove a short distance

Deputy John Durm

Marion County Sheriff’s Office

Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS — The Marion County sheriff filed court papers Wednesday requesting that a man accused of killing a deputy in a transport van be transferred to the custody of the Indiana Department of Correction.

Sheriff Kerry Forestal said in court documents that Orlando Mitchell poses a “risk of serious bodily injury or death to others,” news outlets reported.

A telephone message seeking comment on Forestal’s request was left Wednesday for an attorney representing Mitchell.

Authorities say Mitchell, 34, used his handcuff chain to strangle Deputy John Durm, 61, in the van Monday after returning from a hospital visit to the Criminal Justice Center on Indianapolis’ east side.

Mitchell then found Durm’s handcuff key, unlocked himself and drove the van a short distance from the detention center before crashing into a wooden pole, authorities said. Other deputies then returned him to custody.

He has not been charged in Durm’s death, and the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office has said a charging decision was not expected before “Thursday afternoon at the very earliest.”

Mitchell was being held Wednesday at the Johnson County Jail in nearby Franklin, according to online jail records.

He has been behind bars since September 2022 awaiting trial for the killing of his ex-girlfriend, Krystal Walton.