A Fort Wayne man serving more than 70 years for a 2006 killing was stabbed to death in a state prison.
Ezekiel Jones was found in his cell in Pendleton Correctional Facility in Pendleton just before 10 a.m. Wednesday, suffering from a stab wound to his neck. He was taken to the prison’s health center and later transferred to St. Vincent’s Hospital in Indianapolis, where he was pronounced dead just after 2 p.m.
Jones was 31 years old.
A suspect in the attack and witnesses are being questioned, according to prison warden Dushan Zatecky.
Jones was serving 72 years for murder and robbery for the Feb. 18, 2006, killing of 20-year-old Antoine Latham after losing $400 in a game of dice. Authorities said Latham argued with Jones over the money.
Latham was the nephew of Rev. Michael Latham, the former head of the local NAACP chapter.
Jones was expected to be released from prison in July 2042.
Pendleton Correctional Facility has been placed on lockdown and visitation has been suspended until further notice, the warden said.
NewsChannel 15 talked with Latham’s cousin Michael Latham, Jr.
“Contrary to what people might believe, this wasn’t good news for our family,”Latham, Jr. said. “We really wanted Ezekiel to recover and have another chance at life… and that stems from who Antoine was. Antoine without question would want our family to forgive him, to move on. The day he was sentenced was the day we decided as a family that we would move on, forgive him. We’ve been praying for him.”
He said the Latham family was somber after hearing the news.
“We don’t rejoice on days like this one,” Latham, Jr. added. “The Bible does say vengance is the Lord, but this is something not happy. We’re mourning today too. Another young person was killed.”