One inmate dead, another on life support after violence breaks out at Coleman federal prison near Ocala

Coleman Correctional Institution 1 (courtesy Bureau of Prisons)

A union official at the Coleman federal penitentiary in Central Florida says one inmate is dead and another is on “life support” following an outbreak of violence between black and white prisoners Sunday night.

Troi Venable, 39, has been identified as the inmate who was killed. He was serving a 17-year term for assault and gun possession by a felon, according to USA Today.

The entire Coleman Complex I, which houses more than 1,300 inmates and is part of what has been described as the largest high-security facility in the nation, remains on lockdown following the fight that took place on Sunday. The building is located in Sumter County near Wildwood, about 35 miles south of Ocala.

Another inmate is on life support, and three others have had surgery following the brawl, according to Joe Rojas, who heads the prison workers union at Coleman.

“It was black vs. white,” Rojas told the Florida Phoenix.

The Coleman 1 penitentiary is a high security prison that is part of the Coleman Federal Correctional Complex. According to the website PrisonPro, the facility was designed to carry up to 960 male offenders, however it currently holds nearly 1,300 inmates.

The facility is where infamous gangster Whitey Bulger was incarcerated until his complaints about his health ultimately led to a transfer to a West Virginia prison, where he was murdered last fall within hours of his arrival.

Mitch Perry
Mitch Perry has spent the past 18 years covering news and politics in the Sunshine State, most recently with He worked for five years as the political editor of Creative Loafing in Tampa, and before that he was the assistant news director at WMNF radio, where he served as creator/anchor/producer of the hour-long WMNF Evening News. A San Francisco native, Mitch began his career at KPFA Radio in Berkeley in the 1990's.


  1. Hi there,
    My son is at Coleman2 and with hurricane Dorian they are not evacuating inmates. Is the prison in a low lying area? If they are all on lockdown during storm that seems inhimane to me if there is severe flooding. I sure wish there was a policy on this (in areas of potential flooding)

  2. Yes maam.. Im also going crazy.. My son is there too. I wanted answers.
    I have called there to make sure my son is OKAY.. I just read online am inmate was killed.. We need answers as parents my son is not and animal.. He is a human being and as a MOTHER I SHOULD AT KNOW IF MY SON IS OKAY.. WE HAVE TO PRAY AND PRAY HARD


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