ISP details events leading up to death of Johnson County inmate

Kyler Myers
Kyler Myers. (Provided Photo/Johnson County Jail)

FRANKLIN, Ind. (WISH) – An investigation is underway after a Johnson County Jail inmate died while in custody Monday.

Indiana State Police officials said Tuesday morning the inmate who died was 19-year-old Kyler L. Myers, of Greenwood.

According to Johnson County Sheriff Doug Cox, the inmate was seen by the jail nurse, who requested that the inmate be taken to the hospital. The inmate walked himself to the jail van, however, upon arrival at the hospital the inmate was unresponsive and lifesaving measures were unsuccessful.

Cox said Myers was arrested and processed into the jail early Monday morning. He faced a charge of reckless possession of paraphernalia.

An autopsy conducted by the Johnson County Coroner Tuesday was inconclusive. ISP said that there was no trauma to Myers’ body. Toxicology results may provide more information but will not be available for four to six weeks.

ISP said that at this point there is no indication of any inappropriate action by Greenwood Police or Johnson County Sheriff’s Department officials.

Around 4:00 p.m. Sunday, Greenwood police were called to a home on a report of a man running around naked in a yard.

When police arrived, they said nobody was outside the home, but when they knocked on the door Myers answered without clothes on. Since it’s not illegal for a person to be naked in their home, ISP said officers told Myers to put clothes on if he went outside, then left.

Around 2:30 a.m. Monday, investigators said Myers called 911 saying that someone was breaking into his home. When officers arrived, they said they found no signs of a break-in.

Investigators said Myers invited the officers into his home to investigate further. While inside, police said they found drug paraphernalia. Investigators said Myers was already on house arrest. He was then arrested for two counts of possession of paraphernalia and one count of disorderly conduct.

Investigators said the officers called for EMT’s because Myers was displaying erratic behavior. After being checked out, Myers was transported to the Johnson County Jail. They said he arrived around 5:41 a.m.

While at the jail, investigators said Myers continued to exhibit erratic and aggressive behavior. Around 11:40 a.m. is when the nurse examined him, then decided he should be taken to the hospital that is across the street from the jail.

When asked if Myers might have been under the influence of drugs, Indiana State Police Capt. David Bursten said, “Was something going on with Mr. Myers to cause him to act this way? I think a reasonable and prudent person would say yes. What that was, we won’t know until the toxicology reports are back.”

Capt. Bursten said even though the investigation is on-going, he felt it was necessary to address the media as soon as possible. The story was gaining national attention from USA Today and the Washington Times.

“I think there’s media, there are people from outside the Indianapolis area, outside the Indiana area that are quick to leap to a decision to say, ‘it’s a transport of a prisoner who dies while being transported’ and people immediately want to make an association to what’s happened in other parts of the country.”

Capt. Bursten went on to say, “People that are transported to jail facilities often times have unknown medical histories. There is nothing that we’ve determined was nefarious in how (Myers) was treated or transported. The fact that EMT’s were called before he was transported and the fact that the jail nurse looked at him also I think clearly indicates that he was cared for as best as possible.”

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