Autopsies show all four inmates in prison fight died from stab wounds

16 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Agency releases names of 4 inmates killed at Oklahoma prison.

CUSHING, Okla. (AP) — The Oklahoma Department of Corrections has identified four inmates killed and three injured in an altercation at the privately run Cimarron Correctional Facility in Cushing.OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Current and former officials defended Oklahoma’s use of privately run prisons Monday following a weekend melee at one of the facilities that left four inmates dead and several others wounded.

OKLAHOMA CITY – Four inmates died of injuries sustained during an attack or fight over the weekend at an Oklahoma prison, officials said, and investigators are trying to determine what sparked the violence.CUSHING — All four inmates who were killed during and after a violent incident at a private prison Saturday died from multiple stab wounds, the Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s Office reports. The department said Monday that 31-year-old Anthony Fulwider, 26-year-old Michael Mayden, 23-year-old Kyle Tiffee and 29-year-old Christopher Tignor died after the violence Saturday at the prison.

Three other inmates — Jared Cruce, Cordell Johnson and Jesse Hood — were injured in the incident and remain hospitalized, corrections officials said. That company, Nashville, Tennessee-based Corrections Corporation of America, and another that runs a 2,500-inmate facility in Lawton, oversee dozens of facilities and tens of thousands of prisoners nationwide. “These are just holding pens for human beings. Richard Morrissette, an Oklahoma City Democrat and a longtime opponent of private prisons. “Making a profit over someone else’s misery is inherently wrong, but it’s not going to stop because look how much control and influence they have.” “To suggest this incident had anything to do with the facility being privately operated is pure politics,” Burns said in a statement. “No corrections system — public or private — is immune to disturbances.

The stabbings apparently happened in quick succession while the inmates at a medium-security wing of the prison were being let out of their cells into the exercise yard, Watkins said. “The entire stabbing incident happened over a couple of minutes,” Watkins said, adding that prisoners were all locked in their cells within 40 minutes of the outbreak of violence. With Oklahoma’s state prison facilities at or above capacity for years, state legislators have increasingly turned to private facilities to help house state prisoners. The facilities operate under contracts with the DOC, which pays a per-diem cost for each inmate and has state monitors who ensure the facilities maintain proper levels of staffing and programs spelled out in the contracts.

According to an internal DOC investigative report obtained by The Associated Press, 36-year-old Lewis Hamilton, a high-ranking gang member, was stabbed to death in August during an assault involving four other prisoners. Watkins said that as a precaution, all Oklahoma prisons have been placed on lockdown, which means that inmates are confined to their cells and their movement inside the facility is severely restricted. Oklahoma has the highest rate of prison homicides in the nation, with state inmates killed at a rate more than three times the national average, according to figures from the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Eleven prisoners were taken to hospitals after the fights, which broke out among inmates in three separate housing units and resulted in the prison being locked down.

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