BUNKER HILL — Recent court documents reveal more details surrounding the deaths of two Miami Correctional Facility inmates who police say were killed inside the prison earlier this year.
On May 19, police investigated the death of prison inmate Richard Carrell, 56, whose body was found in his C Unit cell by a correctional officer.
An autopsy ruled the cause of death to be suffocation by strangulation, a press release stated at the time, and further investigation into the incident led police to arrest Michael Parrish, 42, who was Carrell’s cellmate.
According to a probable cause affidavit filed through the Miami County Prosecutor’s Office, Parrish and Carrell were arguing about the theft of belongings before the incident occurred.
During a police interview, Parrish said he “blacked out” after that and didn’t know what happened, the affidavit indicated, and he only remembers waking up the next morning and noticing rolled up blankets on Carrell’s bed with a leg sticking out from underneath the bottom bunk.
Parrish also told police that he hid Carrell’s leg from view and went to breakfast, court records stated, before becoming “anxious” and returning back to the cell.
A few minutes later, a correctional officer entered the cell and sensed that something did not seem right, and Parrish eventually ended up telling the officer that Carrell’s body was underneath the bed, the affidavit noted.
Then on June 10, ISP detectives also investigated the death of prison inmate Lannie Morgan, 70, who was found not breathing in his I Unit cell.
Morgan was taken to Dukes Memorial Hospital in Peru, according to a press release, where he later died from what an autopsy ruled was suffocation due to smothering.
Police later arrested fellow inmate Phillip Sadler, 53, in connection to Morgan’s death. Sadler was not a cellmate of Morgan’s but did reside in the same unit.
According to court documents, Sadler was found lying face down on his bed, and he was unresponsive, blue and not breathing.
There were also minor scratches on his neck as well as a small amount of blood on his face, court records noted.
During a police interview with Sadler, the inmate said that he had recently heard about the reason Morgan was in prison, and he also noted that he ended up killing Morgan over it, court records indicated.
Sadler told police that he had gone into Morgan’s cell, took the cloth off of an electronic tablet and jumped on top of Morgan, covering his nose and mouth with the cloth, the affidavit noted.
The inmate also stated that Morgan resisted for a few minutes before he stopped moving, court records stated, and that’s when Sadler removed the cloth and later threw it in a trash can.
Morgan, of South Bend, was serving 30 years after pleading guilty in 2011 to two charges of child molesting and one count of incest.
Both Parrish and Sadler are now facing a preliminary count each of murder, which is a level 1 felony.
After entering pleas of not guilty in Miami Superior Court 1 last month, they are due back in court at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 29.