Family Files Wrongful Death Suit Against OK County Sheriff, Commissioners

Friday, June 22nd 2018, 8:21 pm
By: Bonnie Campo

The family of 36-year old Maurice Pendleton Jr. has filed a lawsuit after their loved one was murdered in July of 2017.

Attorneys say there is sworn testimony from eye-witnesses stating Maurice Pendleton Jr. was stripped naked and beaten by other inmates.

“Only thing I have to say is I want justice to be served for my son,” says Maurice’s mother Mae Pendleton.

The family is seeking financial reparation for Maurice’s four children. His youngest child is three years old.

The attorney for his family says since 2016, 30 inmates have died while in custody at the jail.

“This jail is a death trap. It is one of the worst jails in the United States of America,” says family attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons.

Family of the victim says four other inmates killed Maurice Pendleton while he was being held in an open room on the 8th floor.

The lawsuit states that the room had no cameras, or guards, and that Pendleton was chased around the room before he was beaten by the other men. The violence was initiated because the suspects believed Pendleton had gang affiliation.

He later died at the hospital.

The accused killers are Martaveous Dwayne Gillioms, Hareth Hameed, Antonio Dewayne Ligons, and Todd Alan Miller.

But Pendleton’s family says Sheriff P.D. Taylor and County Commissioners Willa Johnson, Brian Maughan and Ray Vaughn share in the blame.

Their actions are labeled in the lawsuit as creating "unconstitutional conditions."

“Maurice was locked into a room without any officer supervision, any surveillance cameras,” says Solomon-Simmons. “Three of those individuals were in that room awaiting a disciplinary hearing because they just attacked another inmate a couple of days before.”

Pendleton was booked into the Oklahoma County Jail in July of 2017 after being charged in connection with a Midwest City shooting.

But family attorneys say he paid his bond, and bailed out of jail on the day he was murdered.

“A man who was innocent, who had not been convicted was placed in a location he shouldn’t have been,” says Solomon-Simmons.

The jail has issued the following statement:

"It is the policy of the Sheriff's Office to not issue statements which pertain to pending legal action. We can say the four individuals who attacked Mr. Pendleton were charged with his death and are awaiting trial in Oklahoma County for 2nd Degree Murder."

The suit alleges in 2016-2017 hundreds of thousands of dollars were diverted from the detention center and spent on non-essential funding like travel, recreation and membership fees.