Inmate Dead After Knife Fight at Prison
STRINGTOWN--One inmate was stabbed to death and three others hospitalized after a fight in a day room filled with temporary bunk beds at the Mack Alford Correctional Center.
The fight began about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday in a day room where bunks were set up to deal with overcrowding, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections said.
Gregory Smith, 29, suffered stab wounds and was pronounced dead at Mary Hurley Hospital in Coalgate. He had been serving a life sentence for murder. Smith was convicted in 2006 for the murder of Adrian Wayne Moore, 22, whose body was found in a wooded area in Muskogee. He had been robbed and shot in the back of the head. Smith was sentenced to life after an accomplice testified against him.
Deangelo Washington, 20, was stabbed in the stomach and had surgery at a McAlester hospital, where he remained Thursday afternoon. Washington is serving six years for robbery by force. He previously had served time in the state prison system for a 2014 burglary conviction.
Kenneth Strain, 32, was stabbed several times in the back and was flown to OU Medical Center. He was released from the hospital Thursday and returned to the prison. Strain is serving a 20-year sentence for theft. He has been incarcerated several times since 2009 for theft, gun possession, and domestic and aggravated assault and battery charges.
Joshua McGuffin, 27, was treated for a cut to one of his hands. McGuffin has been behind bars since 2013 for possessing, trafficking and manufacturing drugs.
The medium- and minimum-security prison remained on lockdown Thursday afternoon, and weekend visitation was canceled as the state Corrections Department began its investigation into the deadly fight.
“We have launched a full-scale investigation into the situation and will continue to search for motives that led to this incident,” Corrections Department Director Joe Allbaugh said shortly after arriving at the prison.
The fight took place in a temporary unit housing 52 inmates and lasted only a few minutes before officers were able to quell the fighting. Two correctional officers were assigned to the unit at the time of the killing, spokesman Alex Gerzewski said. The unit was to be emptied and searched as investigators begin interviewing other inmates.
Mack Alford is rated to house 864 inmates, and the state Corrections Department reported Thursday 104 of those are temporary beds added to the facility to help ease overcrowding in the state prison system. Oklahoma’s prisons are currently about 120 percent over capacity, and the department has filled gymnasiums, day rooms and educational and job training space with bunk beds to meet the growing need for inmate housing.
In 1988, eight correctional officers were held captive during a three-day riot at Mack Alford. The officers were released unharmed, but two housing units were burned, causing an estimated $7 million in damage.
More recently, in 2014, four inmates were killed in Cushing at the Cimarron Correctional Facility, operated by the Corrections Corporation of America, and four others injured in one of the deadliest prison fights in state history.
Gregory Smith, 29, was pronounced dead at a Coalgate hospital after a fight broke out at the Mack Alford Correctional Center in Stringtown.
Deangelo Washington, 20, was stabbed in the stomach and had surgery at a McAlester hospital.
Kenneth Strain, 32, was flown to the OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City for injuries.
Joshua McGuffin, 27, was treated and released at a local hospital for a cut to a hand.
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