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

A Knox County grand jury indicted Zachary Titus Tuesday, for 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 June 24, 2018, at the Bolduc Correctional Facility in Warren.

Dana R. Bartlett

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 that 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 in March 2018 and is scheduled to be released in August 2020. His last residence before prison was Beechwood Street in Thomaston, according to court records.

Zachary Titus

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.

Prior to his being sentenced in March 2018 for theft and criminal trespass at Walmart, Titus had sought admission to the Maine Coastal Regional Re-entry Center in Belfast.

He wrote a letter to the court asking to be allowed into that Center, saying he thought programs such as for substance abuse and anger management could help him from committing new offenses.

“I also would like to attend bible studies and church when available to maintain my spirituality,” Titus stated in his letter.

He worked to get his high school equivalency diploma while at the Knox County Jail in Rockland awaiting sentencing on the theft case.

The case has been specially assigned to Superior Court Justice Bruce Mallonee. No court date for his initial appearance on the charge has been set.

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in March 2018 in Androscoggin Superior Court to 16 months in prison for driving a motor vehicle after his license had been revoked as a habitual offender.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

Bartlett’s former attorney, Richard Charest, said July 13 that Bartlett was a mild-mannered fellow who was not affiliated with any gang.

Back 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 that Bartlett had gone to a corrections officer and asked to be moved to another cell because he was being threatened. The other people in his cell had suspected him of stealing some cigarettes, according to Palmiter.

Bartlett then voiced his concern to Palmiter, commenting 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 with a staff of 65.

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