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Marion County Sheriff's Deputy John Durm


INDIANAPOLIS — After footage from the day of Deputy John Durm’s death was briefly made public, one judge is expressing his frustrations about its release.

Police say the Marion County Sheriff’s deputy was strangled by inmate Orlando Mitchell, who then tried to escape in a jail vehicle before crashing.  Durm was taken to the hospital, but he did not survive.

Following the fatal incident, questions about staffing and protocol were raised, with many wondering how such a death could have happened.  But, not long after footage from that day was released, a court order required that it no longer be shown.

Now, Judge Mark Smith – who will be hearing this case – is saying the video should never have been shared.

WISH-TV reports that he believes the video’s release could create challenges, and sway possible jurors’ opinions, before Mitchell has his time in court.

He said, “The thing that frustrated me the most was the state specifically asked for a discovery protective order against defense counsel and all their witnesses for doing the exact same thing that your witness did.”

Currently, prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Mitchell.  He was already in custody for the 2022 murder of Crystal Walton.