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In the Line of Duty Memoriam

Employees Killed in the Line of Duty

Stephen Jenkins  Stephen Roshawn Jenkins, Sr.

  Correctional Officer
  Clara Waters Community Corrections Center
  End of Watch January 7, 2017

Corporal Stephen Jenkins suffered a fatal heart attack shortly after chasing an inmate across the prison yard at the Clara Waters Community Corrections Center in Oklahoma City.

The inmate was observed picking up a bag of contraband tobacco along the inner fence line at the prison. The inmate ran from Corporal Jenkins and three other officers when they attempted to take him inside for a disciplinary action. All four officers chased him across the prison yard before subduing him. Corporal Jenkins suddenly collapsed as they walked into the prison. Corporal Jenkins was transported to a nearby hospital where he passed away.

The inmate was charged with first degree manslaughter as a result of Corporal Jenkins’ death.

Corporal Jenkins had served with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections for 18 months. He is survived by his four children.



Rance McKee  Rance Lee McKee

  Construction/Maintenance Administrator
  James Crabtree Correctional Center
  End of Watch December 27, 2016

 On December 27, 2016, at approximately 21:45 hours, an officer noticed a smoky haze in the JCCC Unit 4 office area and he could smell a faint ozone aroma, like an overheating electrical appliance. He searched the office area and noticed the smell was stronger in the attic area and inside a case manager’s office. He put the unit on a 30-minute fire watch and requested Central Control to notify the chief of security. He also contacted the maintenance staff on duty, Construction/Maintenance Administrator Rance McKee, to notify him of the issue. Mr. McKee stated he would immediately respond to the facility.

As Mr. McKee was responding to the facility to assist with the problem, he was struck by a vehicle when it failed to yield to a stop sign at an intersection. Mr. McKee was killed in the accident. The chief of security and the warden were called to the scene of the accident by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol who investigated the accident. The OHP investigation determined the other driver was at fault for collision.

Rance had served with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections for 27 years. He is survived by his wife and one son.



Jeff McCoyJeff McCoy

Probation and Parole Officer
End of Watch May 18, 2012


On May 18, 2012, Officer Jeffery McCoy, 32, was shot and killed while performing a field visit at a home in Midwest City, Oklahoma.

A male subject who lived at the home, but who was not the focus of Officer McCoy's visit, answered the door and immediately pushed Officer McCoy off of the front porch. The man then attacked him and was able to gain control of his service weapon during the ensuing struggle. The subject shot Officer McCoy at least once before fleeing back into his home. The man fired at officers from the Midwest City Police Department as they arrived at the scene. He was taken into custody moments later after he exited the home again.

Officer McCoy had served with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections for seven years. He is survived by his wife and two children.



Joe Allen Gamble, Jr.Joe Allen Gamble, Jr.

Correctional Officer
Oklahoma State Reformatory
End of Watch June 5, 2000

On June 5, 2000, Sergeant Joe Allen Gamble was assigned to D Unit at the Oklahoma State Reformatory. At 8:15 a.m., Sergeant Gamble heard the call for help from Officer William Callaway. Sergeant Gamble immediately left the area he was counting and went through the unit control room to D-1 pod. When he arrived at D-1 pod, he did not know Officer Callaway had escaped the day room. Thinking only of his friend's call for help and without regard for his own personal safety, Sergeant Joe Allen Gamble entered the day room to save his fellow correctional officer. An inmate armed with two homemade knives ambushed Sergeant Gamble as he entered the day room. Sergeant Gamble was able to escape and ran immediately to medical for treatment. Sergeant Gamble was taken by ambulance to Jackson County Memorial Hospital where he later died from his injuries.

Sergeant Gamble had been with the department for three years.



Gay CarterGay Carter

Correctional Food Supervisor
R. B. "Dick" Connor Correctional Facility
End of Watch November 13, 1998

Inmate Grant stabbed Ms. Carter in the upper body several times with a homemade knife. Ms. Carter was supervising the cleaning of the dining hall after breakfast. Inmate Grant attacked her in the mop closet of the dining hall.



Kenneth DentonKenneth Denton

Correctional Officer
Oklahoma State Reformatory
End of Watch August 3, 1989


At about 9:30 a.m., Officer Denton was transporting five inmate road workers in a Department of Corrections van. On Highway 9 about six miles east of Granite, Officer Denton suffered a heart attack while driving, causing him to lose control of the vehicle which struck a bridge abutment and turned over. Officer Denton was pronounced dead at the scene and five inmates received minor injuries.



Eugene Young

Corrections Officer
Probation and Parole
End of Watch July 28, 1989

On the afternoon of July 28, 1989, at the Oklahoma City probation and parole office, parolee Huey Don Turner was being arrested during his visit to the office preparatory to have his parole revoked. Turner resisted violently, and Officer Young was one of five corrections officers called to subdue him. A short time later, Officer Young suffered a heart attack and died at Presbyterian Hospital in Oklahoma City.

Officer Young was survived by his wife, two sons and two daughters.



Rex J. ThompsonRex J. Thompson

Correctional Officer
Lexington Corrections Center
End of Watch September 1, 1981

On August 31, at about 7 p.m., the prison's officers were in the process of locking all of the inmates in their cells as part of a general lock-down because of a previous fight. Inmate Michael Slazenger attacked Officer Thompson near his station in the control center. Officer Thompson died from severe head injuries the next day.

Officer Thompson was survived by his wife and two children.



Raymond L. ChandlerRaymond L. Chandler

Correctional Officer
DOC Security - Griffin Memorial Hospital Unit
End of Watch December 18, 1980

Officer Chandler was off duty at a laundry mat in Norman, when a former inmate walked in, and a fight ensued. As the two struggled, both fell through a large plate glass window. A large piece of glass cut Officer Chandler’s jugular vein as he fell. After falling through the window, the semi-conscious officer, dressed in street clothes, fired one shot from a handgun at the offender who was running away, but he did not strike the ex-inmate. Chandler then collapsed and died at the scene.

At the time of his death, Officer Chandler was assigned to the inmate unit at Griffin Memorial Hospital.



Albert J. CoxAlbert J. Cox

Prison Farm Supervisor
Oklahoma State Penitentiary
End of Watch March 5, 1977

At 9:30 a.m., on March 5, 1977 inmate Edward Lyle Hall and employee Albert Cox were discovered missing from the state prison. At 5 p.m., Mr. Cox's body was later found under more than two dozen 50-pound sacks of feed in a chicken coop in the prison farm. He had been stabbed several times and his throat had been slashed by a homemade knife. The pick-up Mr. Cox had left in that morning to make his rounds was missing. It was located abandoned in Johnston County.

Later that day, near Mannsville, the suspect held a knife to the throat of an 11 year-old boy and forced him and his father to drive him to a remote location before releasing them and taking their vehicle. Five days later the car was found abandoned in Florida. On October 4, 1977, the suspect was captured by FBI agents in Denver, Colorado.

Hall, who was serving a 15 year sentence for a 1974 robbery conviction, was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to death. In 1982, his conviction was overturned and a new trial was ordered. He was found guilty of second degree murder and sentenced to life. Hall has been denied parole several times.

Cox had served with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections for 12 years. He is survived by his wife and two children.



W. H. Aston

Officer
Oklahoma State Penitentiary
End of Watch August 4, 1948

On July 30, Officer Aston was on duty on the fourth floor of the west cellblock that was the solitary confinement area. Officer Aston saw a mirror, prohibited in solitary confinement, extended from Thomas Woods' cell and went to check on it. When he opened the cell door, Woods sprang upon him and began beating Aston's head on the floor, wall, and against the cell bars.

When other officers came to his rescue, Aston was still conscious, and his injuries did not appear to be serious. He was taken to a local hospital but did not want to be admitted. He was examined and sent home, but the next day, his condition worsened. Taken to a hospital in Holdenville, he was diagnosed as suffering from a fractured skull and intra-cranial bleeding. Officer Aston died of his injuries on August 4.



W. H. "Pat" Riley

Chief Sergeant
Oklahoma State Reformatory
End of Watch December 13, 1943

On December 13, prisoner L. C. Smalley told Chief Sergeant W. H. “Pat” Riley that he had been robbed of a watch and $30 by two other prisoners. Smalley told Riley that the men who robbed him were Mose Johnson and Staley Steen. About 3:15 p.m., Sergeant Riley located both suspects in the boiler room where they worked. As he questioned them about the robbery, Johnson hit Riley over the head with a piece of pipe, and Steen stabbed him in the face and back with a knife. Leaving the officer on the floor, the two inmates then ran to the canteen where Smalley worked behind the counter. When the two ran in the canteen, the other inmates ran out before Johnson killed Smalley with an ice pick. Other officers arrested the two in the canteen but not in time to save Smalley.

Sergeant Riley had been with the agency for ten years and was survived by his wife, a daughter and four sons.


William R. Benningfield

Supervisor
State Prison Farm
End of Watch August 11, 1941

James David Parrish, a trusty serving time for Grand Larceny, complained of feeling ill. Mr. Benningfield, an unarmed supervisor, was transporting him to the doctor in Atoka, but they never arrived. The car was found abandoned near Wewoka with the gears stripped. Parrish was arrested that night while hitchhiking near Shawnee, Oklahoma, on Highway 270. Confessing to Benningfield's murder, he led officers to the body in a ditch 14 miles north of Durant. Benningfield had been beaten to death with a claw hammer.



Jess DunnJess Dunn

Warden
Oklahoma State Penitentiary
End of Watch August 10, 1941

On the morning of August 10, 1941, Warden Dunn was touring the prison with an electrical engineer, planning a new communications system. About 10:45 a.m., prisoners Roy McGee, Bill Anderson, Claude Beaver, and Hiram Prather, armed with homemade knives, tried to break out of the prison. Anderson and Beaver had both been involved in a previous escape attempt that cost the life of Charles Powell four years earlier.

The inmates took Warden Dunn and the engineer hostage and began marching them out in the yard, using them as shields from the officers. Threatening to kill their hostages, the prisoners managed to disarm the officers in the front guard tower. Now armed with guns, they forced their hostages out to the front gate. In the meantime, officers had called the Pittsburg County Sheriff's Office for assistance. Deputy Sheriff Bill Alexander was the only officer on duty, but Deputy William A. Ford was also at the Sheriff's Office although he was off duty. Both deputies had formerly been officers at the prison. The deputies quickly drove to the prison and using their car as a roadblock, about three blocks north of the prison, blocked the exit of the car containing the inmates and hostages. During his time as an officer at the prison, Deputy Alexander had discussed with Warden Dunn how an attempted jailbreak should be handled if hostages were involved. Dunn had told Alexander that if prisoners took him hostage, they would obviously have him order the officers to let them pass and not to shoot. Also obviously, he would give the orders as they told him. However, Dunn told Alexander that the officers should ignore his orders under those circumstances and not let them pass. He also told him that "even if I tell you not to shoot, you shoot."

Claude Beaver was driving with Warden Dunn and the engineer in the front seat of the car with the other three escapees in the rear seat holding them at gunpoint. As expected, the prisoners told Dunn to give the deputies the orders to let them pass. Deputy Alexander told the Warden he could pass but that the other men would not be allowed to leave. One of the prisoners then fired a rifle shot, hitting Deputy Ford in the head. Another prisoner then shot Warden Dunn twice in the back of the head, and Deputy Alexander began returning their fire.

Warden Dunn and Claude Beaver were dead at the scene. Deputy Ford died a few hours later. Bill Anderson died from his wounds two days later. Hiram Prather, also wounded, was the only one of the prisoners to survive. He was charged with Jess Dunn's murder, convicted, and sentenced to die in "Old Sparky," the prison's electric chair.



Charles D. PowellCharles D. Powell

Brickyard Foreman
Oklahoma State Penitentiary
End of Watch May 11, 1936

About noon on May 11, 1936, the prisoners were being fed lunch in the brickyard when a jail break occurred. Twenty-four men charged at four officers, including Mr. Powell, with prison-made dirks. Powell attempted to escape from them but was struck on the head with a piece of pipe. The four hostage officers, Powell, Tuck Cope, W.W. Gossett, and Victor Conn, were then forced toward the nearest guard tower. When the prisoners demanded that the two tower officers throw down their guns, the officers complied. The now armed inmates forced their captives to a nearby car and fourteen of the escapees crammed themselves into and on the car. As the car began moving, other officers opened fire on the car. Tuck Cope was wounded in the neck, Gossett in the stomach, but Powell was fatally hit in the head. In the resulting melee, ten of the inmates were wounded and six were rapidly recaptured. Eight escaped for periods ranging from a few hours to several weeks, but all were subsequently recaptured.

Officer Powell had been with the agency for five years was survived by his wife and two children.



William C. Turner

Guard Foreman
Oklahoma State Penitentiary
End of Watch July 18, 1935

On July 18, 1935, Guard Foreman Turner was supervising three prisoners on the prison farm about a mile from the main prison building. He was suddenly struck by lightning, killing him and the horse he was riding. The three prisoners were also injured by the lightning. 

Guard Foreman Turner had worked at the penitentiary for approximately four years. He was survived by his wife and three children.



James Payton "Pate" Jones

Security Officer
Oklahoma State Reformatory
End of Watch February 17, 1935

On February 17, 1935, Officer Jones was on duty in the main entrance tower. Shortly after 2 p.m., two inmates, Malloy Kuykendall and Henry Stewart led a mass escape attempt with two guns that had been smuggled in to them. 

Unfortunately, a group of women and children were taking a tour of the prison at the same time and the prisoners took them hostage. As the group approached the main tower where Officer Jones was on duty, one of the inmates shot him fatally with a shotgun. Officer Jones' wife was standing on the front porch of the officers' barracks a short distance away and saw her husband shot down.

Officer Jones had been with the agency for three years. He was survived by his wife and two children.



Charles Francis ChristianCharles Francis Christian

Correctional Officer
Oklahoma State Reformatory
End of Watch February 16, 1935

On February 16, 1935, Correctional Officer Charles Francis Christian was the victim of an attack by an inmate while he was supervising a work gang at the Oklahoma State Reformatory. Officer Christian never recovered and succumbed to his injuries from a crushed skull.



William R. MayfieldWilliam R. Mayfield

Brickyard Supervisor
Oklahoma State Penitentiary
End of Watch January 20, 1926

On January 19, 1926, William R. Mayfield was the supervisor for the brickyard at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester. One of the prisoners in the brickyard that day was originally sentenced to five years for burglary but in 1925, the inmate had killed his cellmate and received an additional twenty-five year sentence. This inmate had a plan to escape on this date.

To affect that escape, the inmate threw a brick at Mayfield, striking him in the back of the head which caused a deep wound and a fractured skull. Other officers then shot the inmate. Mayfield succumbed to his injuries and died the next morning.

He was survived by his wife and four children.



D.C. "Pat" OatesD.C. "Pat" Oates

Deputy Warden
Oklahoma State Penitentiary
End of Watch January 19, 1914


Fred C. GodfreyFred C. Godfrey

Day Sergeant
Oklahoma State Penitentiary
End of Watch January 19, 1914


Herman H. DroverHerman H. Drover

Bertillon Officer
Oklahoma State Penitentiary
End of Watch January 19, 1914

At 4:20 p.m., January 19, 1914, three prisoners, (Tom Lane, Chiney Reed, and Charles Kuntz) were making their way through the maximum-security prison's front corridor, ostensibly to see parole officer, Frank Rice. Tom Lane was concealing a handgun that had been smuggled into the prison for him.

As Turnkey J. W. Martin let the inmates through the door, Lane pulled the gun on him and demanded the keys. Martin, alone and unarmed, jumped Lane and struggled with him until Lane shot him in the cheek. The inmates then took the keys and ran down the corridor to the office of Deputy Warden D. C. Oates, intending to take a hostage to help protect their escape from the armed officers in the towers outside.

Turnkey Martin raised the alarm and Deputy Warden Oates came out of his office, drew his handgun and emptied it at the inmates, wounding Kuntz in the chest. Tom Lane returned fire. H. H. Drover was just exiting another room from developing photographs and was fatally hit by one of Lane's shots. Oates ran down the hall to get another gun or more ammunition.

As the inmates burst into the deputy warden's office, they confronted stenographer, Mary Foster; day sergeant F. C. Godfrey; parole officer, Frank Rice; and attorney, John H. Thomas; who was at the prison to see a client. As the inmates told everyone to raise their hands, the elderly Thomas moved too slow to suit them, and Lane shot him fatally. Sergeant Godfrey, who was facing a wall with his hands raised, then attacked Lane, who shot him in the head, killing him instantly. The inmates then took Foster and Rice as hostages, and, shielding themselves behind their hostages, moved out of the office. Deputy Warden Oates, who had rearmed himself with a shotgun, met them in the corridor. Oates ordered Lane to drop his gun, and Lane shot Oates, killing him. Subsequently, all three inmates were killed during the escape attempt.

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