Mother Wants Answers In Son’s Death Inside Oklahoma County Jail

The mother of a man who died inside the Oklahoma County Detention Center wants answers.

Wednesday, February 28th 2024, 10:46 am

By: News 9, Deanne Stein


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The mother of a man who died inside the Oklahoma County Detention Center wants answers. According to jail officials, Derek Strother was found in his cell unresponsive Monday morning.

“This family's devastated,” said Debra Stanton, Derek Strother’s mother. “I don't know what happened.”

Debra Stanton says she still can’t understand why her son is gone.

“As of two days ago, my son was alive,” she said. “He was fine, he was doing good.”

According to the Oklahoma County Detention Center, detention officers discovered the 31-year-old in his cell unresponsive. Jail officials say detention officers called for medical staff and immediately began life-saving measures by administering Narcan and performing CPR.

“They gave him three shots of Narcan, three shots trying to bring him back,” Stanton said.

The jail says EMSA and Oklahoma City Fire Department personnel arrived and continued life-saving measures. Strother was transferred to the hospital where he died. It’s unclear if drugs were in his system.

“If it comes out that anything was given to my son, somebody's gonna pay,” Stanton said. “I will take it to the highest level.”

Strother was booked into the OCDC on Dec. 18, following a deadly crash near Northeast 23rd Street and North Martin Luther King Avenue, that killed one person, Myreon Lacey. Strother faced multiple charges including second-degree murder and driving under the influence.

“He said ‘Mother, a man died, I am responsible,’” Stanton said. “We feel terribly sorry for that family and if you're listening family, our hearts have gone out to you so many times.”

However, Stanton says her son didn’t deserve to die.

“I want answers and I want to know why so many people in the facility, so many individuals have died,” Stanton said. “I want justice for my son, I want justice for the other people who have died there. I want to speak up for the people that are in that jail that things are happening to, something's wrong there.”

Stanton says her son leaves behind a family that loves him including two children, and twins on the way.

“I’m going to miss my son's smile. I’m going to miss him coming up and giving me a big hug and lifting me up saying ‘I love you, Mom,’” she said.

The death is still under investigation, according to the OCDC. The medical examiner’s office will determine Strother’s cause of death.

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