Bio & Incident Details
Tour: 1 year
Badge # 00443
Weapon: Blunt object; Hammer
Offender: Sentenced to death
Officer Darla Lathrem was killed as she supervised five inmates on a construction detail inside the Charlotte Correctional Institution.
She was assaulted by three of the inmates as they made an attempt to escape. The inmates were assisting with the building of a new dormitory for the maximum security prison and had access to tools such as hammers and screwdrivers; they attacker her with a five pound sledge hammer.
Two of the inmates were attacked by the other three when they refused to participate in the escape attempt. One of the victim inmates died as a result of his injuries. Two of the escaping inmates were captured between the facility and the inner perimeter fence. The third was caught between the inner and outer perimeter fences. The inmate that killed Officer Lathrem was sentenced to death on March 31st, 2006. The inmate 'mastermind' of the escape was convicted of her murder on June 23rd, 2006 and sentenced to death on August 18th, 2006. The third inmate had agreed to cooperate in exchange for a life sentence, but the judge rejected his guilty plea because of concerns about his mental competence.
Officer Lathrem's death was the first corrections officer fatality at the facility. Additionally, she was the first female corrections officer to be killed in the line of duty in Florida. She had been with the Florida Department of Corrections for one year.