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Indiana Prisoner Dies after Cell Extraction

In 2012, Pendleton Correctional Facility prisoner Justin Addler was one of 40 people charged in connection with a cell phone smuggling ring at three Indiana prisons. The phones were used to arrange sales of methamphetamine, heroin and LSD outside the facilities. [See: PLN, Dec 2012, p.50].

Addler, 32, died on May 16, 2016 after a confrontation with guards when he barricaded himself inside his cell with some type of weapon. Addler had voluntarily submitted to restraints, then was taken to the medical unit for treatment of “unspecified injuries” suffered during the cell extraction. He died shortly afterwards. Latex gloves containing unknown contraband were found inside Addler’s rectum and turned over to the state police for testing. Michelle Rains, Pendleton’s public information officer, said the facility was placed on lockdown pending an investigation.

Madison County Coroner Marian Dunnichay conducted an autopsy which revealed no medical reason for Addler’s death. Dunnichay said she would not release a final coroner’s ruling until toxicology reports were complete, but noted the cuts and bruises found on Addler’s body were consistent with prison staff’s account of the cell extraction.


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