Two workers at the Oklahoma County Jail have been charged with allowing inmates to severely injure and beat two other inmates in separate cases.
Of the two jail officers, one was charged with actually helping orchestrate and abet severe attacks upon one gang member by nearly a dozen rival gang members.
In the other case, another jail officer was charged with failing to alert other jail officials that an inmate riot was underway.
In the first case, Officer Michael Thomas Hughes, 25, was charged iwith one count of felony assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
That charge follows the Dec. 3 beating of inmate Aaron Lemeal Cooper, 19, by 11 other inmates.
The attacking inmates struck Mr. Cooper several times from behind, knocked out two of his teeth and cut a gash above his left eye that required seven stitches, court records said.
Two of the attacking inmates pulled a defenseless Mr. Cooper into a cell and held him against his will during the assault, according to a probable cause affidavit.
The group of inmates first struck Mr. Cooper in the back with a broom handle and struck him multiple times” as he was laying defenseless on the [floor],” the affidavit continued.
Mr. Cooper was accused in a November carjacking in Oklahoma City and faces complaints of robbery by two or more persons and obstructing an officer.
In the Dec. 3 attack, he was also said to have suffered bruising to his left shoulder and above his right eye, swelling on his right ear, and bruising from shoe tread on his neck.
The beating was captured on jail video, according to the affidavit.
The attacking inmates are accused of committing assault and battery with a deadly weapon.
Mr. Hughes, a detention officer, was assigned to rove the fourth floor of the jail the night Mr. Cooper was assaulted, according to a probable cause affidavit for an arrest warrant.
Officer Hughes knew there were rival gangs on the David Pod of the jail, the affidavit stated.
The jail detention officer was accused of releasing Mr. Cooper, a member of the Crips Gang, in a common area with multiple members of the rival Bloods Gang.
Daniel Lazar, a criminal investigator with the Oklahoma County Criminal Justice Authority, which runs the jail, said in the affidavit that Mr. Cooper “stated that he believed he was being set up and Officer Hughes was working with the Blood Gang members.”
Mr. Lazar said Officer Hughes could be seen on surveillance video shaking hands with a member of the Bloods, and they had a “lengthy conversation” prior to the attack.
Five hours later, according to the affidavit, Officer Hughes released Joesiah Turner, 23, another Bloods member, who was in protective custody and not allowed to be outside his cell or have access to the general population.
Officer Hughes was accused of allowing Mr. Turner to enter the cell of Roy Lee Parkerson, 24, and stabbed Mr. Parkerson three times with a handmade shank.
In the affidavit, Mr. Lazar said he observed on surveillance video Officer Hughes having a conversation with Mr. Turner by a stairwell before the stabbing, and, after the stabbing, “Hughes casually walked Turner back to his cell,” the affidavit quoted Mr. Lazar saying.
Mr. Turner was charged in the beating.
Officer Hughes was also charged last week with one count of felony assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
In the assault cases in which Officer Hughes is charged, according to court records, he attempted to clean up the blood after each of the attacks, did not call out on his radio that there was an altercation between inmates and failed to notify medical staff about severely injured inmates.
In the second case, at 11:26 p.m. on Feb. 7, an inmate called a Central Control worker and told hat worker a riot was breaking out on the jail’s second floor.
“There’s, like, four people using weapons,” the inmate told Martin Jacobs, the Central Control worker, the affidavit reported.
“I’m looking on the camera, right now,” Mr Jacobs said, according to the affidavit. “I don’t see that.”
“ ‘Are you sure?’ ” the inmate asked. “ ‘Yep,’ ” the employee replied. “ ‘But I’ll check with the rover, thank you,’ ” the affidavit continued.
A review of surveillance video, however, shows Mr. Jacobs “never picked up his radio to notify anyone,” according to an internal investigative report of the altercation on.”
An hour later, one of those involved was beaten so badly he had to be hospitalized for two separate brain bleeds, the report said.
Mr. Jacobs was fired on negligence grounds.
Last week, Mr. Jacobs, 31, was charged with one count of willful neglect to perform a duty of public trust or employment, a felony.
“I told [him] that there were multiple issues,” Stephen Ponder, an investigator with the jail authority, wrote in his report.
“I explained that, if an inmate calls and reports that a riot is breaking out, then, the shift commander needs to be notified immediately,” he reported.
“ I stated that, instead of investigating any further, Camera Ops Jacobs placed the inmate on hold and forgot about the phone call.”
“I showed Camera Ops Jacobs that, although there wasn’t any activity on camera while he was on the phone, approximately 30 seconds later, multiple inmates could be seen with weapons walking around the pod in 2 Baker,”
“I stated that this incident spanned over an hour and a half.,” Mr. Ponder wrote.
“I told him Johnson’s most severe injuries were sustained after the initial phone call regarding a riot.”
Mr. Jacobs had worked at the jail since October.