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Several charged after deadly attack on Marion County Jail inmate

Posted at 6:25 PM, Jun 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-09 18:43:40-04

INDIANAPOLIS — At least eight people are facing charges after an inmate was beaten to death in 2020 in the Marion County Jail, according to court documents.

Martin Cruz, 38, was found unresponsive in his jail cell around 10:15 p.m. on Oct. 10, 2020. He was taken to Eskenazi Hospital where he died about 74 minutes later. Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department homicide detectives, along with the coroner's office, then began their investigation.

Cruz, who was in jail on multiple felony charges of child molestation and dissemination of harmful materials to minors, was found lying face down in the middle of the cell with blood under his head by third-shift jail deputies, who started their shifts 15 minutes before finding him, according to probable cause affidavits.

He was in a community-style jail cell, which features sets of bunk beds, a day room, tables, showers, bathrooms and TVs, according to the affidavits. When detectives went to the cell, they found a large pile of clothes, torn sheets with possible blood and possible hairs in the bunk area.

Through the investigation, according to the affidavits, the attack on Cruz started because other people in the cell said he's a child molester. "It's about to go down," one inmate said before the attack.

After Cruz was kicked off a bed in the cell, "they just started beating the guy" as he tried to yell for help, according to the affidavits. The group of other inmates told Cruz "if he didn't shut up they were going to kill him in there."

The inmates "jumped on Cruz's head," beat him with a food tray, hog-tied him with a sheet, shoved his head in the toilet, poured bleach on him and stomped on his head as they were "jumping as high as they could," the affidavits detailed.

Less than three hours before Cruz was found unresponsive in his cell, he was transferred to the cell after he was in quarantine due to possible exposure to COVID-19, according to the affidavits.

Detectives also learned Cruz was previously attacked in a different cell a few months before the deadly attack, according to the affidavits. A deputy noticed after the attack he had severe bruising on his face and bleeding from his left ear.

According to online court records and the probable cause affidavits, the following people have been charged with murder by prosecutors in connection with Cruz's death:

  • David Sparks
  • Delance Hatcher
  • Kavon Donaldson
  • Clayton Hagan
  • Lasean Watkins
  • Gamron Tedford
  • Jaylen Ryle

Jeremy Satisfield, according to online court records, was charged by prosecutors with one count of aggravated battery, a Level 3 felony.

Additional co-defendants are listed as "filed under seal" in the affidavits and charging documents.