4 inmates killed in Oklahoma prison fight

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4 inmates killed in Oklahoma prison fight

Unread post by TomTom » September 15th, 2015, 5:36 pm

State's deadliest prison fight? 4 inmates killed, 3 still hospitalized after Cushing 'disturbance'
By Andrew Knittle By Graham Lee Brewer
September 14, 2015



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CUSHING — The state Corrections Department released the names of four inmates who were reportedly stabbed to death during a “disturbance” Saturday at a sprawling private prison in this Oklahoma town best known for its ties to the oil and natural gas industry.

While prison officials could not confirm it Monday, a search of The Oklahoman's archives suggests the weekend melee is the deadliest single incident involving inmates in state history.

Three inmates died just before 5 p.m. at the Cimarron Correctional Facility, operated by the Corrections Corporation of America, and a fourth offender later succumbed to wounds suffered during the attack. Four others were wounded, and three of them remain hospitalized.

The incident lasted two minutes, according to CCA and the state Corrections Department, and an additional 38 minutes was needed to secure the unit it took place on.

Cushing Police Chief Tully Folden said while his officers were the first to respond to scene, they only secured the perimeter until paramedics arrived.

Terri Watkins, spokeswoman for the state Corrections Department, said the agency handles all homicide investigations inside prisons, often allowing local police to assist as a courtesy.

“Our inspector general's office will complete the report and submit it to the district attorney,” she said Monday.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation has been requested to provide crime scene investigation assistance, said agency spokeswoman Jessica Brown.

The dead

•Anthony Fulwilder, 31, was convicted in 2003 of shooting with intent to kill and armed robbery in Oklahoma County. One of his tattoos, according to prison documents, is often affiliated with white pride or white separatism prison organizations.

•Michael Mayden, 26, originally was charged with assault with a deadly weapon in 2009 but later had the charge reduced to a misdemeanor. Mayden was sent to prison for violating his probation in 2012, court records show. One of his aliases was “Nutty,” records show. Mayden's convictions were out of Oklahoma County.

•Kyle Glen Tiffee, 23, had a lengthy criminal record, including charges of conspiracy to possess a controlled dangerous substance, grand larceny and unauthorized use of credit and debit cards. In 2012, Tiffee was convicted of assaulting a “law officer” and given an additional two years in prison.

•Christopher Tignor, 29, was a petty thief convicted of numerous burglary and possession of stolen property charges in 2010. He also was convicted of possession of a controlled substance that same year. All of his charges originated from Cleveland and Oklahoma counties, records show.

The hospitalized

•Jesse Hood, 31, of the Tulsa area, has a lengthy criminal record and was most recently convicted of assaulting a police officer in 2013, which earned him four years in prison. According to the prison system's online records system, Hood has numerous tattoos, including a swastika on his chest.

•Cordell Johnson, 24, was convicted of drug charges and domestic abuse by strangulation in 2011. He was sentenced to 10 years behind bars when he was barely 20.

•Jared Cruce, 33, a career criminal, has been convicted of drugs charges, several alcohol-related charges and assaulting a police officer. He was sentenced to 10 years behind bars in 2011. Over the course of his criminal career, he faced felony charges in Cleveland, Grady, McClain, Pittsburg and Oklahoma counties.

All of the dead inmates and those sent to local hospitals with injuries were white, records show. Prison officials did not answer questions on Monday about whether race played a role in the inmates' deaths and injuries.

Family reactions

In the wake of the inmates' deaths, loved ones have said little in public. For the most part, calls to presumed relatives and family members were not returned.

Justin Mayden, older brother of victim Michael Mayden Jr., told The Oklahoman that he's been told by authorities “not to talk to anybody until the investigation is done.” However, he did post some details about his brother's death to a GoFundMe page on Sunday.

“My little brother was recently a bystander in a prison fight that tragically took his life,” Justin Mayden wrote on the fundraising website. “His family and friends are still at a loss of words why this happened and have yet to really get any answers. My brother was a loving father to a little boy and loved him more than anything in this world.”

Another woman, Kathy Barber, spoke to a Tulsa-area TV station, claiming victim Anthony Fulwilder was targeted before his death. Barber said Fulwilder was her fiance.

“I'm just literally devastated and I miss him horribly right now. Just watching my phone hoping this is not real and I know it is,” Barber told the station, adding that Barber had changed his life since he was locked up in 2003.

“He went from being a very bitter person to someone who was very loving and caring.”

Not the first time

While the “inmate disturbance” is not the most expensive or largest prison riot or incident in state history, it appears to be one of the deadliest.

In July 1973, inmate violence exploded at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, home to the state's death row and its most heinous criminals. That riot four-plus decades ago left three inmates dead and caused more than $20 million in damages. It remains the most expensive prison riot in state history.

In operation under contract with the state Corrections Department since 1996, the Cimarron Correctional Facility is no stranger to dangerous, volatile incidents in recent months.

In June, a massive brawl erupted at the Cimarron Correctional Facility, enmeshing at least three housing units in the fracas. The prison-wide fight left 11 inmates hospitalized, though there were no reported deaths.

According to media reports, between 200 and 300 inmates were involved in the June 10 brawl, which Owen commented on after the melee.

“I would not describe this as something that occurs with regularity,” Owen said at the time. “Our staff train and prepare to respond to things when they happen, and our staff did a very good job of responding to this with no injuries to staff and no threat to public safety.”

In March 2013, a group of Puerto Rican prisoners at the Cushing facility were involved in large-scale fight in one of the housing units. According to reports of the time, the inmates smashed windows and crafted weapons using broken and destroyed prison property before they were subdued with pepper spray.

The Puerto Ricans would be gone within three months, purportedly because of budgetary concerns back on their home island.

Roughly two months after the brawl in March 2013, the prison was partially locked down again after a brawl involving Hispanic inmates. A report on the incident stated that one of the inmates was known to participate in “race-related disturbances.”

Alex Weintz, a spokesman for the governor's office, called Saturday's deadly incident “a chance to learn.”

“Anytime there is an act of violence in prison, either against DOC personnel or another inmate, it is a chance to learn what went wrong and improve on future policies,” Weintz said in a written statement.

“Governor Fallin is confident that Director Patton and his team are taking this incident seriously and working to minimize the chances that something like it is repeated in the future.”

Aside from the facility in Cushing, CCA operates two other private prisons in the state, and the majority of those serving time at them are inmates from Oklahoma.

The Davis Correctional Facility in Holdenville holds nearly 1,700 maximum- and medium-security prisoners, and the North Fork Correctional Facility in Sayre can hold about 2,500 inmates.

A fourth private prison, the Lawton Correctional Center, is operated by the GEO Group and also houses about 2,500 inmates.

http://www.oklahoman.com/article/544687 ... 75f22eb736

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Re: 4 inmates killed in Oklahoma prison fight

Unread post by TomTom » September 15th, 2015, 5:39 pm

I don't know for sure if this was race-related but I do know all of the inmates that were killed had ties to the OAB(Oklahoma Aryan Brotherhood). They are still hold out a lot of info so I don't know if the fight was black VS white, or what.Will follow up. I do know that 10 years ago this same prison yard had an eruption between blacks and the OAB, and an OAB member was killed.There have been plenty brawls at this yard so will follow up..

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Re: 4 inmates killed in Oklahoma prison fight

Unread post by TomTom » September 15th, 2015, 6:13 pm

This was the fight about 10 years ago on the same yard..This was between blacks and the OAB



Brawls rattle prisons
Recent deadly riot is raising concerns of what should change.






Carrie Coppernoll and Chad Previch • Published: May 1, 2005





Adam Lippert was not racist, his family says, but it was a race riot that killed him.

"He was in the (United) Aryan Brotherhood because you have to be in some group to have people to protect you, said his sister, Amanda Lippert. "It's like more or less, you have to stay alive. It's something you have to do.





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And so Adam Lippert, 32, did join the white supremacist group while serving time for drugs at the Cimarron Correctional Facility in Cushing. On March 22, Lippert was stabbed to death when 40 black inmates rushed him and 14 other white prisoners, authorities said.

Since the Cushing riot, there have been three other race- or gang-related fights in Oklahoma prisons. In all, more than 50 inmates have been injured since March.

So far, prison administrators haven't announced any long-term changes to curb the violence.

Worth watching There have been four brawls in five weeks:

March 22, Cimarron Correctional Facility in Cushing; 13 injured, one killed.

March 24, Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester; three injured.

March 25, Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester; three injured.

April 24, Dick Conner Correctional Center in Hominy; 33 injured.

"It's kind of a blip on the radar, said Jerry Massie, spokesman for the Oklahoma Corrections Department. "Obviously we'll have to see if it's a spontaneous event or if it's something we see is a trend.

Rep. Gus Blackwell, R Goodwell, said he wants religious leaders to become more active with inmates. He is also looking for ways to obtain more funding for correctional officers because about 1 in 5 guard positions is vacant. He said he plans to visit with prison officials this week.

"Hopefully we can nip this in the bud and put an end to it, Blackwell said. "I think it's a concern.

Following the Cimarron Correctional Facility riot, six inmates were charged with first-degree murder. Payne County District Attorney Rob Hudson said he may seek the death penalty.

That doesn't comfort Lippert's step-grandmother, Clohie Wilson, who would like nonviolent offenders like her grandson segregated from violent criminals.

One of the charged men, Eric Marquel Johnson, already was serving time for murder.

"He's killed again, Wilson said though tears. "What's he going to get? They're not going to do anything to him. It certainly is not going to bring my child back.

Roll call The state has identified more than 600 Oklahoma inmates about 3 percent of the prison population who are affiliated with gangs, which often divide along racial lines. But the number is probably twice that high, Massie said.

Gang members aren't tracked as aggressively in Oklahoma as in some other states, such as Texas, because gangs aren't as much of a problem here, said Dan Reynolds, assistant deputy director of security and investigations for the Corrections Department.

"We basically deal with behavior rather than the gang affiliation, Reynolds said. "In Oklahoma, we don't feel like there is a need to have full-time staff to do that (identify gang members) because we don't have the high numbers of gang-related incidents.

In the past two years, about 1 in every 200 incidents was race-related, Reynolds said. Gang members are not more likely to sneak in contraband or drugs, he said.

Other states, such as Colorado and New Mexico, have higher gang populations because gangs are more prevalent in those states, Massie said. About 35 percent of Colorado inmates are involved with gangs, and 27 percent of New Mexico inmates are gang-affiliated, according to those states' corrections departments.

But gang membership is much higher than official Oklahoma numbers show, said former inmate John Schoonover, who spent 18 months at Dick Conner before his conviction was overturned. He was released in November.

Schoonover, 68, estimated as many as 1 in 4 inmates was connected to a gang. Schoonover, however, was able to avoid gang life because of his age.

Tension between the gangs at Dick Conner was high, Schoonover said.

"The riot was festering because of gangs stealing from gang members, he said.

Massie said the fight last week, in which a group of Native American, Hispanic and white offenders were involved in a fight with a group of black offenders, was not gang-related, though it split along racial lines.

"That can happen, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's a racial issue or that race caused it to happen, he said.

Massie said no change in policy or procedure is expected yet. For now, corrections workers will focus on gathering intelligence and short-term solutions, such as searches, he said.

Oklahoma prisons have no full-time gang officers, Massie said.

Officials identify gang members based on a point system. Points are assigned for different signs, such as tattoos and association with gang members. Inmates who score 10 points or higher are validated gang members.

Tough decision Gang members always are recruiting. In some yards, inmates typically choose whether to affiliate within six months, said Ron Grant, chaplain at Joseph Harp Correctional Center in Lexington. In tougher yards, the decision must be made in just a few weeks, he said.

"You're going to have to determine who are you going to associate with, Grant said. "If you associate with the wrong group ... you're going to be identified as one of them.

Once an inmate takes off his street clothes and puts on a uniform, he must redefine himself and decide how he wants others to view him, Grant said.

Grant hopes they will find their identity with the church. If they're involved with the church, they're less likely to violate rules and more likely to succeed on the outside, he said.

Grant said he coaches older inmates to mentor younger men who might be afraid and feel pressured to join a gang. Some will sleep in all their clothes and won't take a shower because they are scared.

"If you come walking into some of these places and you've never been in prison, it's scary, Grant said. "It's not home at night.

If gangs are rejected by potential recruits, they threaten violence and retaliation, said the mother of an inmate at Dick Conner. She did not want her name used for fear of retaliation against her son. Her son has been approached by a white gang several times but he will not join, she said.

For that, the gang members have threatened to kill him.

Her son wouldn't go to the exercise yard and eventually asked to be put in protective custody, a form of individual lockdown. But the threats continue.

"It's so bad and it's so real and it's so dangerous, she said. "Where do you run in prison? Where do you hide?

She said her son, who is serving time for drug crimes, has made mistakes and is paying for those bad decisions. But, she said, he and other inmates have the right to be safe.

"My son refuses to be another fatality on these yards, the mother of the Dick Conner inmate said. "He wants to do his time. He wants to come home.

Since learning their father won't be coming home, Lippert's sons all younger than 12 have been devastated, Wilson said.

The oldest has gone to counseling, Wilson said. Lippert would often call from prison and listen to his son play the piano.

The older sons know how their father died. The youngest, a toddler, will never really know his father.

If Lippert survived prison, relatives and friends said he would have been a carpenter. His mother looked forward to seeing Lippert on the outside.

"He wasn't ever prejudiced, Caroline Lippert Rogge said. "But if you don't join they're all going to gang up on you or something. But what good did it do him? Where were they when he needed them?
http://newsok.com/article/2894603

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Re: 4 inmates killed in Oklahoma prison fight

Unread post by TomTom » September 24th, 2015, 6:36 pm

CUSHING — A deadly fight at a private prison in this oil town was the result of a feud between two white supremacist gangs, the Oklahoma Corrections Department reported.



Four inmates were killed and four others hospitalized in the Sept. 12 altercation at Cimarron Correctional Facility, a 1,720-bed prison operated by Corrections Corporation of America. The four injured inmates have been returned to the facility.

State Corrections Director Robert Patton confirmed Monday the fatal brawl was between the Irish Mob and the Universal Aryan Brotherhood.

Two inmates were stabbed to death, the medical examiner's office reported last week. The other two died from “multiple sharp force injuries.” All of those injured were white.

All state prisons went on lockdown after the incident and have since gone back to normal operations, with the exception of Cimarron.

“As of right now we are easing the lockdown at the Cimarron Correctional Facility with the exception of known associates and members of the two gang affiliations," Patton said in a news release.

“Rumors and speculations of disturbances at other facilities across the state on the evening of Sept. 12 being connected to the Cimarron altercation remain under investigation and we hope to have answers to these questions soon."

Elsewhere ...

Sean Wallace, director of Oklahoma Corrections Professionals, which represents prison workers, said correctional officers have reported to him that several fights took place at other facilities on the day of the Cushing attack.

State Corrections Department spokesman Alex Gerszewski confirmed these incidents occurred at other state prisons on Sept. 12:

•There was a fistfight between several offenders at Dick Conner Correctional Center in Hominy. The involved offenders were treated at the facility for minor injuries.

•Charles Overton, an inmate, was stabbed at Oklahoma State Reformatory in Granite. He has been returned to the facility.

•There was a fistfight between several offenders at William S. Keys Correctional Center in Fort Supply. Several offenders were taken off site and treated for minor injuries. All the inmates involved have been returned to the facility.

•There also was a fight at the James Crabtree Correctional Center in Helena, but no further details were released.

Patton has toured the Cimarron facility three times since the Sept. 12 attack, and said he is pleased with the progress of the investigation and the private prison's operations.

The investigation into the fight continues, and the state Corrections Department has yet to release the names of the inmates who led the attack or what charges may be filed as a result of the investigation.
http://newsok.com/article/5448418

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