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Inmate used chain of handcuffs to choke deputy, court docs allege

Coroner's Office lists cause of death as ligature strangulation
Wagon Crash.jpg
Posted at 12:48 PM, Jul 11, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-14 16:32:19-04

INDIANAPOLIS — New details from court documents have been released regarding the deadly assault of a Marion County Sheriff's deputy on Monday.

According to preliminary court documents, Orlando Mitchell, 34, was returning to the Criminal Justice Center from a medial appointment when he attacked Deputy John Durm.

Video evidence shows Durm walk around the van to let Mitchell out. When Durm opens the door, Mitchell steps behind him and raises his hands over Durm's head, according to the documents.

Mitchell then uses the chain of his handcuffs to choke Durm. During the altercation, Durm and Mitchell fall to the ground and Mitchell continues to choke Durm "until Durm quits moving", according to the documents.

The probable cause affidavit claims Mitchell, while his hands were attached to a body chain, the body chain was no longer around his waist. It is unclear how he became unlocked from his body chain.

At this time, Mitchell uses Durm's keys to take off his handcuffs and jumps in the van and pulls away. He then crashes the van in the 3000 block of Prospect Street.

IMPD told WRTV on Monday that Mitchell was taken into custody at that crash scene with one arresting officer suffering minor injuries.

Mitchell was transported to Eskenazi Hospital with minor injuries.

Deputy Durm died at Eskenazi Hospital later in the day. His death marks the third law enforcement death in the past 12 days in Indiana.

On Tuesday, the Marion County Coroner's Office determined Durm's death to be caused by ligature strangulation. His death was ruled a homicide.

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The Marion County Prosecutor's Office will determine what addition charges and penalties Mitchell may face. That decision is expected in the coming days.

Superior Court Judge Charles Miller recused himself and all other judges in Marion County from hearing Mitchell's case, according to Court Administrator Emily VanOsdol. The Indiana Supreme Court will appoint a judge for the case.

Mitchell is currently chargedwith killing his ex-girlfriend Krystal Walton in September 2022. He is being held in the Johnson County jail currently.

The Marion County sheriff requested Mitchell to be moved to the Department of Correction. A judge granted that request on Wednesday. Mitchell was officially moved to the DOC on Friday.