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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Marion County Jail inmate charged with manslaughter after jail fight

A Marion County Jail inmate is facing a manslaughter charge after being involved in a fatal altercation with another inmate.

On Sunday, November 7 at around 1 a.m., Eric Thanal Lutterloah and the victim, Cory Merchant, were involved in a physical altercation inside the jail.

Marion County Jail inmate arrested for manslaughter after fight with another inmate
Eric Thanal Lutterloah

The incident occurred after lockdown. Lutterloah was inside his assigned bunk and the victim was talking to another inmate.

According to an MCSO release, Lutterloah confronted the victim about talking loudly and an argument ensued.

Lutterloah pushed the victim and punched him several times. As a result, the victim fell to the cement floor, struck his head, and was unconscious.

Detention deputies rushed to the area and attempted to treat the victim. After being transported to the hospital, the victim passed away from the injuries on Saturday, November 13.

Deputies interviewed Lutterloah about the incident, and he stated he was sleeping when the victim’s laughter and loud talking woke him up. He admitted to being annoyed and stated that he warned the victim to leave the area.

According to Lutterloah, he then confronted the victim which led to a physical altercation, and he admitted to punching the victim.

The MCSO report indicated that video evidence and eyewitness testimony were consistent with Lutterloah’s statements.

At the time of the altercation, Lutterloah was being held at Marion County Jail without bond for charges of armed kidnapping, sexual battery, failure to comply with sex offender reporting requirements, forgery, and giving a false report of a crime.

He continues to be held at Marion County Jail without bond. He now faces an additional manslaughter charge and a court date has been scheduled on January 5, 2022, at 8:30 a.m., according to jail records.