WARREN — A 34-year-old Thomaston man has been charged with killing a fellow inmate at the state prison farm last year.

A Knox County grand jury indicted Zachary Titus on Tuesday on a charge of intentional or knowing or depraved indifference murder. The indictment was sealed until Thursday, when he was served with the arrest warrant.

According to the indictment, he caused the death of 28-year-old Dana R. Bartlett on June 24 at the Bolduc Correctional Facility in Warren.

The Maine State Police, Attorney General’s Office and Corrections Department have been investigating the case since Bartlett’s death. On Jan. 4, the Maine Department of Public Safety announced the case had been ruled a homicide.

No cause of death has been released.

Titus is serving a two-year prison term for felony theft. He began his sentence last March and is scheduled to be released in August 2020. His last residence before prison was Beechwood Street in Thomaston, according to court records.

Titus has a lengthy criminal record in Knox County, but none for violent offenses. Since 2013, there are multiple theft cases, burglary of a motor vehicle, and negotiating a worthless instrument.

No court date has been set for his initial appearance on the murder charge.

Bartlett had been sentenced in March 2018 to 16 months for driving a motor vehicle after his license had been revoked as a habitual offender. He had lived in Lewiston.

In August, Jason Palmiter, who was released July 6 after serving nearly nine years in prison for robbery, said he spoke with Bartlett the day he died and Bartlett told him he had asked to be moved to another cell because he was being threatened. Other people in his cell had suspected him of stealing some cigarettes, according to Palmiter.

Bartlett told Palmiter that the guard did not seem concerned and did nothing, Palmiter said.

The Corrections Department said earlier this month that no disciplinary action has been taken against staff in relation to the Bartlett case.

There are four people to a room at the Bolduc Center, which has a capacity of 220 inmates and a staff of 65.

filed under: