Inmate killed in attack inside Crawford County jail, fellow inmate charged with his murder state KBI

Joplin News First

GIRARD, Kan. – The Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) is investigating the death of a 20-year-old man who was assaulted by another inmate while in custody at the Crawford County Jail.

By statute, the KBI investigates all in-custody deaths which occur in Kansas jails and prisons unless the inmate who dies is being regularly attended by a physician, or the death is ruled natural by autopsy. The Crawford County Sheriff’s Office asked the KBI to investigate on Saturday, Oct. 16, at approximately 2 p.m.

Dante Martinez, 20, of Pittsburg, was pronounced deceased Saturday night at 8:54 p.m. at Freeman Hospital Joplin, Missouri. He was being held on contempt of court charges from Thursday in Crawford County, Kansas.

Preliminary information indicates that at around 1:15 p.m. Saturday, corrections officers at the Jail were called to an injured inmate. When they arrived at the jail pod, a common area accessible to several inmates, they located Dante M. Martinez, 20, of Pittsburg. Martinez was suffering from severe injuries. EMS responded and provided medical aid. They transported Martinez to Girard Medical Center.

Following a review of video surveillance from the incident area, it was determined that 25-year-old Gavin P. Wood, of Arma, had attacked Martinez causing his injuries. 

Martinez was later transported to Freeman Hospital in Joplin, Missouri. On Oct. 16, at 8:54 p.m. he was pronounced deceased from his injuries. An autopsy has been scheduled.

At approximately 1:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 18, Wood was charged with second-degree murder, and arrested on the new charge.

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