Child pornography convict from Northwest Indiana dies in federal prison

ByChuck Goudie and Barb Markoff, Christine Tressel and Tom Jones WLS logo
Wednesday, January 10, 2024
Child porn convict from NW Indiana dies in federal prison
Bureau of Prisons officials are not releasing many details after child porn convict Romio Hawkins, from Portage, IN, died in a Milan, MI prison.

MILAN, Mich. (WLS) -- It was midsummer 2022 when Romio Hawkins of Portage, Indiana, was sentenced to 20 years in a major child pornography case.

Hawkins was found unresponsive at the federal prison in Milan, Michigan, on Monday. Details of his death are not being disclosed by Bureau of Prisons officials.

The Federal Correctional Center in Milan is located about 45 miles south of Detroit.

Milan prison officials will only say the 26-year-old Northwest Indiana man was found unresponsive Monday around noon. Prison employees who responded to the inmate's cell are said to have performed emergency treatment of some sort, and also requested EMS response.

Court records lay out a horrific child pornography case. Hawkins pleaded guilty, admitting that he "knowingly possessed over 1,000 images and over 300 videos containing child pornography," including very young victims.

Officials at the Milan prison are providing no details of what happened to Hawkins.

Child sex offenders are frequent targets of attacks in prisons and jails according to law enforcement.

In Hawkins' own sentencing memo in the case it says, "He has attempted suicide on more than one occasion and as recently as June 2021 expressed suicidal thoughts."

The I-Team spoke briefly with Hawkins's father a little while ago as he was about to board a plane from New Jersey to the prison in Michigan. He is also looking for answers, telling the ABC7 I-Team that he has no idea what happened to his son.

In Merrillville, Indiana, Hawkins's attorney says he wasn't even aware his client was dead until informed by the I-Team. The prison website confirms Hawkins is dead.