Ind. deputy killed by inmate in failed escape attempt
Marion County Deputy John Durm was returning the murder suspect to jail when the inmate attacked Durm
Duty Death: John Durm - [Indianapolis]
End of Service: 10/07/2023
By Joseph Wilkinson
New York Daily News
INDIANAPOLIS — A prisoner in Indianapolis attacked and killed a sheriff’s deputy while attempting to escape jail, according to authorities.
Orlando Mitchell, 34, was riding in a prisoner transport van with Marion County Sheriff’s Deputy John Durm, 61, law enforcement leaders told the Indianapolis Star.
Durm had taken Mitchell to a medical appointment away from the jail and was returning to the facility, according to local TV station WISH. Mitchell then assaulted Durm and stole the vehicle, Marion County Sheriff Kerry Forestal said.
But Mitchell’s dramatic escape did not last long, according to Forestal. He made it out of the jail campus and crashed just outside the parking lot, the Star reported. Three officers arrived to detain him.
Mitchell was in jail because he’d been charged with the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Krystal Walton, in September. He fatally shot Walton outside a daycare for their 1-year-old son, according to police.
Court documents showed Mitchell had a history of abusing Walton. In March 2021, he was charged with strangulation and domestic battery, among other crimes. He eventually pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and received a suspended 363-day jail sentence.
“This isn’t his first alleged violent act in this community,” Sheriff Forestal was quoted as saying by NBC affiliate WTHR.
Following the attack and subsequent crash, Durm and Mitchell were both transported to nearby hospitals, the Star reported. Durm was pronounced dead at Eskenazi Hospital.
Durm worked for the Marion County Sheriff’s Department for 38 years, according to Forestal, who added, “John was just a good guy, he really was.”