Nine inmates were injured in a fight that broke out Sunday afternoon in the yard in front of the dining area at William S. Key Correctional Center in Fort Supply.
According to Department of Corrections Public Information Manager Matt Elliott, this was one of several fights that broke out in a half dozen separate facilities across thee state over the weekend, resulting in the death of one inmate and the lockdown of all Oklahoma correctional facilities.
According to Elliott, the fights are believed to be linked to a prison gang dispute and enabled by contraband cell phones, which is a problem prisons face nationwide.
“Saturday, inmates at Northeast Oklahoma Correctional Center in Vinita began fighting,” Elliott said in a press release. “Sunday, fights between inmates occurred at Dick Conner Correctional Center in Hominy, North Fork Correctional Center in Sayre, William S. Key Correctional Center in Fort Supply, Lawton Correctional Facility and Mack Alford Correctional Center in Stringtown.”
More than a dozen inmates were injured and transported to hospitals with non-life threatening injuries with the exception of the one inmate at Dick Conner Correctional Center that died at the facility, according to Elliott. A number of other inmates were also treated at the various facilities. Several correctional officers also received non-life threatening injuries trying to stop the altercations.
Inmates involved are being transferred to other facilities for their safety and additional staff have been sent to the facilities involved for extra security, according to the press release.
“Agents with the department’s Office of the Inspector General, Office of Fugitive Apprehension and Investigations, and Security Threats Intelligence as well as correctional staff at the six facilities are working to identify the inmates involved,” Elliott said. “Agents will develop cases on those identified as part of the homicide and the other serious assaults to present to district attorneys for prosecution.”
The incident remains under investigation.
These are the inmates injured at William S. Key during the dispute, according to the DOC press release:
James L. Maddox – No. 643473 – admitted to a state hospital
Dustin L. Beshears – No. 628694 – treated and returned to facility
Jache P. Willard – No. 751448 – treated and returned to facility
Justin L. Ross – No. 665132 – treated and returned to facility
Logan D. Ward – No. 693070 – treated and returned to facility
Taylor C. Sandman – No. 760495 – treated and returned to facility
Matthew K. Schwarz – No. 715515 – treated at the facility
Bennie F. Withrow IV – No. 511655 – treated at the facility
Dominick J. Beach – No. 732249 – treated at facility