2 Men Indicted in Connection to Inmate's Death

Monday, February 2nd 2009, 5:10 pm
By: News 9


OKLAHOMA CITY -- Two Oklahoma jailers were federally indicted Monday in connection to the 2007 death of an Oklahoma County inmate.

Justin Isch, 21-years-old, and 25-year-old Gavin Littlejohn pleaded not guilty to assault and battery charges, which authorities believe led to the death of Christopher Beckman in May 2007.

According to the indictment, Isch "used Beckman's head to open a steel door" as he was being taken to the jail's clinic after reportedly suffering a seizure.

Littlejohn "repeatedly struck Beckman about the head and face," prosecuters said.

Llittlejohn claimed Christopher Beckman was combative and aggressive toward officers. He said after Beckman stopped breathing, he and a nurse performed CPR on the inmate.

One year following Beckman's death, the state medical examiner ruled his death a homicide.

Beckman was arrested on a DUI compliant on Memorial Day weekend, near Choctaw and was taken into custody.

He died two days later at a nearby hospital.

Christopher Beckman's father, Terry Beckman, was furious Monday as the two former jailers entered the courtroom to plead not guilty.

"I'm very angry," Terry Beckman said. "He was 34-years-old. He was a young man and I loved him."

Terry Beckman said he has always believed his son was beaten after his arrest.

Both Isch and Littlejohn were released on bond. Among the conditions of their release, the two men must refrain from speaking to potential witnesses about the case and cannot travel outside the western district of Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma County Sheriff's Department fired both Isch and Littlejohn Monday. Littlejohn was forced to surrender his passport and county-issued weapon.

It is unclear if any other jailers will be indicted in connection to Christopher Beckman's death.

Isch and Littlejohn's trial is slated for March 9.