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Teen who jumped from courthouse’s third floor dies

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An Avon teen who jumped from the third floor of the Hendricks County Courthouse Wednesday has died.

Luke Whitson, 16, died at Methodist Hospital Thursday, according to the Marion County Coroner’s Office, which didn’t yet have the preliminary report about the cause of death.

Whitson was being escorted to an initial hearing by two employees of the Sugar Creek Juvenile Justice Center and was in handcuffs and leg shackles. When the elevator door opened, Whitson ran about 20 feet and was over the railing before anyone could reach him, according to Clark Fine, Hendricks County Sheriff’s detective captain.

Whitson was arrested Tuesday by Avon Police, who were called after the teen reportedly beat his father who was trying to discipline him for drinking alcohol, police said. Fine said Whitson had been in trouble with the law before.

Sugar Creek Juvenile Justice Center, in Ladoga, opened in May and is owned and managed by CMC Ownership LLC. A statement from Sugar Creek released Wednesday said the teen was being transported by employees "consistent with operational procedure." The center also said a preliminary investigation indicated "there was likely nothing which our staff could have done to prevent this tragedy from occurring."

Officials at the justice center weren’t available to talk today by IL deadline.

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