Former MMA fighter Travis Fulton, indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of receiving and possessing child pornography and the sexual exploitation of minors, was found dead in his jail cell after an alleged suicide bid, authorities said on Sunday.
His death is under investigation, with the state medical examiner scheduled to perform an autopsy. No further details were released by prison authorities.
Fulton, nicknamed “The Ironman” for a record number of fights, was found unresponsive in his cell during a routine cell check by authorities at 4am on Saturday at the Linn County Jail in Iowa, where he was kept on federal charges.
The Linn County Sheriff’s Office said jail staff attempted to resuscitate him by performing CPR, after which he was rushed to the Mercy Medical Centre where he was pronounced dead at 5am.
Court records revealed that the 44-year-old fighter was initially indicted on charges that he photographed a minor girl to engage in sexual behaviour for several years, according to The Gazette.
These charges were later expanded to include another minor.
These crimes reportedly occurred in the span of six years between June 2013 and April 2020, with the other crime taking place in November 2020.
In yet another case, he faced charges of domestic assault for hitting and threatening a woman in September 2019. The woman was treated for multiple injuries of broken bones.
Before his death, he agreed to plead guilty to two charges of sexual exploitation of a child and possession of child pornography, reported The Gazette. His plea hearing date was scheduled for 23 July.
The mixed martial arts fighter was arrested on 19 February this year.
Fulton competed in a record of 323 pro MMA fights since beginning his career in 1996. He went by the name "The Ironman" in fighting rings. His most recent fight was in April 2019 when he defeated Shannon Ritch.
When life is difficult, Samaritans are here – day or night, 365 days a year. You can call them for free on 116 123, email them at email@example.com, or visit www.samaritans.org to find your nearest branch.