Inmate used handcuff chain to choke sheriff’s deputy during escape attempt

INDIANAPOLIS — More information is being released regarding Monday’s escape attempt that caused the death of Marion County Sheriff’s Deputy John Durm.

According to previous reports, an inmate, identified by police as 34-year-old Orlando Mitchell, was returning from a hospital visit when he allegedly attacked Durm inside the detention center’s sally port and gained control of the sheriff’s van. After fleeing in the van, the suspect crashed the vehicle in the 3000 block of Prospect Street.

Officials reported that Durm died from injuries sustained in the incident. Mitchell was also taken into custody shortly after it happened.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, released Tuesday in Marion County, officials said that the incident was captured on video.

The video showed that Durm arrived at the sally port in the van and walked around the van to let Mitchell out. The affidavit reads that Mitchell stepped behind Durm, alleging that he “(raised) his hands above Durm’s head and (placed) them around Durm’s neck,” using the chain linking Mitchell’s handcuffs to choke Durm.

The affidavit said that both Mitchell and Durm fell to the ground during the exchange, with Mitchell continuing to choke Durm “until Durm quits moving.” Mitchell then allegedly used Durm’s handcuff key to take the handcuffs off and then used the van to try to escape. The van crashed into a wooden light pole on Prospect Street south of the center.

According to previous reports, Mitchell was in jail on a murder charge after being arrested for shooting his son’s mother outside of a daycare in 2022.

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