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Police: Oklahoma jail worker beaten, stabbed by inmates

OKLAHOMA CITY  — An Oklahoma County Detention Center employee who was taken hostage over the weekend was beaten and stabbed by inmates during the ordeal, police said Monday.

The Oklahoma City Police Department released additional details about the incident Saturday in which two officers shot and killed an inmate who was seen holding a makeshift weapon to the employee’s throat. The employee, whose name wasn’t released, was transported to an area hospital “with injuries incurred from being beaten and stabbed by inmates while being held,” police said in a narrative about the incident.

Police identified the inmate shot and killed as 35-year-old Curtis Montrell Williams. Jail records show Williams was being held on multiple felony charges, including first-degree rape, possession of contraband in a penal institution, possession of a firearm after conviction of a felony and assault and battery on jail personnel.

Police also identified the officers who shot the inmate as Lt. Coy Gilbert, a 23-year veteran, and Officer Kevin Kuhlman, who has five years of service.

Both officers have been placed on administrative leave while an investigation is underway.

Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater, whose office will determine if the shooting was justified, blamed some of the recent problems at the jail on what he said was “incompetent administration.”

“The jail trust and its administration of the Oklahoma County jail is an abject failure that has cost the lives of inmates, made the environment incredibly dangerous for law enforcement and other jail staff members,” Prater told The Oklahoman newspaper.

Jail administrators didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment about the incident or Prater’s criticism.

Williams is the fifth inmate to die at the facility this year, and the jail has a long history of high staff turnover, overcrowding and escapes.

In January, a 40-year-old inmate was found beaten to death inside his cell, and his cell mate has been charged with first-degree murder in the case.

Last summer, two inmates, including a murder suspect, escaped by using sheets tied together to climb down the outside of the building from a 12th floor cell. And in October, two former Oklahoma jail employees and their supervisor were charged with misdemeanor cruelty counts after investigators found they forced inmates to stand handcuffed for hours and listen to the children’s song “Baby Shark” on repeat.

Oversight of the jail was transferred last year from the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office to a nine-member jail trust.

Marco Harmon

I was born and raised in Roanoke, VA. I studied Communications Studies at Roanoke College, and I’ve been part of the news industry ever since. Visiting my favorite downtown Roanoke bars and restaurants with my friends is how I spend most of my free time when I'm not at the desk.

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