Issues At Okla. Co. Jail Continue As Number Of Deaths Rise To 6 In Less Than 2 Months


Wednesday, February 3rd 2021, 10:24 pm
By: Sylvia Corkill


OKLAHOMA CITY -

The death toll inside the Oklahoma County Detention Center continues to climb.

Jail officials found Parker Stephens unresponsive in his cell Wednesday morning.

While it's no secret that the jail trust inherited issues that desperately needed to be addressed, since their takeover in July there's been no shortage of problems.

Stephens's death marks the sixth in seven weeks.

December 20, Carlos Marquez was found unresponsive in his cell following an altercation with a cellmate.

Christmas Eve, after complaining of chest pains Rodrick Thompson died of what hospital officials called a massive heart attack.

January 2, Brad Lane was allegedly brutally beaten to death by his cellmate. As a result of his death the jail trust was placed under investigation by the OSBI

Read: Inmate Charged With Murder As The OSBI Investigates Recent Inmate Deaths At Okla. Co. Jail

Three days later, on January 5, another inmate was found dead in his cell.

Eddie Hollins died January 22, after complaining of chest pains.

In July, two inmates escaped by shimmying down a string of tethered bedsheets.

Then on January 27, Jesus Rubio escaped through an open door.

According to the Oklahoma City Police Department and the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office, they weren't notified until after more than an hour.

The Oklahoma County Criminal Justice Authority said:  

“The exact time the escape began was determined by reviewing evidence gathered during the ongoing investigation. These types of incidents develop rapidly with many moving parts to manage simultaneously. The initial focus is to secure the facility and engage in a headcount of detainees, determine the location and safety of all staff, and accurately assess the situation as a whole. Without taking the time to fully understand the situation, we may inadvertently compromise public safety as well as the safety of our staff and detainees. As soon as the administration was able to verify all details of the situation, the appropriate law enforcement partners were notified immediately, as CEO Williams indicated during the press conference discussing this incident.

The trust said it has made changes to staffing requirements when inmates are transferred to the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.