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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Elliott Earl Williams Died In Tulsa Jail Cell - Watch Video




By KEVIN CANFIELD World Staff Writer on Jul 2, 2013, at 2:29 AM  Updated on 7/02/13 at 7:19 AM
  Elliott Earl Williams spent the last 51 hours of his life lying naked on a blanket in a Tulsa Jail cell, unable to feed himself the food that had been thrown to the floor beside him by detention officers, a jail video released Monday indicates. Williams, 37, was pronounced dead about 11:30 a.m. Oct. 27, 2011 - five days after he was booked into the jail. He had been taken to the Tulsa Jail by Owasso police officers after he was arrested in connection with a disturbance at a hotel, reports indicate.

An Owasso police report states: "It was readily apparent that the suspect was having a mental breakdown. The suspect was rambling on about God, eating dirt." Williams' estate is suing Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz and the jail's health-care provider, Correctional Healthcare Management of Oklahoma Inc., claiming wrongful death and civil rights violations. The video, which lasts 10 minutes and 23 seconds, begins with Williams being dragged into a medical cell on a blanket at 8:27 a.m. Oct. 25. It ends two days later, at 8:41 a.m. on Oct. 27, with jail personnel checking the bottoms of Williams' feet for a response before returning at 11:04 a.m. to begin CPR.

 A few minutes later, jail personnel yanked the blanket out from beneath Williams, and his body rolled over, leaving him face down, the video shows. Less than 20 minutes later - after more attempts at CPR by Tulsa firefighters - Williams was pronounced dead, his body still bare as a photographer snaps pictures. Between the time he was placed in the cell and the time he died, jail personnel gave him one cup of water - placed at his feet minutes after he was put in the cell but initially out of his reach - and what appear to be two servings of food - each tossed to the floor on Oct. 25, according to the video. 

 Just hours before his death, what appears to be another meal was pushed through the slot in the cell door. Undersheriff Tim Albin on Monday called the death an "unfortunate" incident and said he would not comment because the case is being litigated. "We're looking forward to defending the case in court," he said. Attorney Guy Fortney, who is representing the Sheriff's Office in the lawsuit, has said previously that the Tulsa Jail is one of the best in the country and accused the Williams estate's attorneys, Daniel Smolen and Louis Bullock, of attempting to try the case in the court of public opinion. The video made public Monday was one of several documents that were part of a motion filed by Smolen asking the court to compel the jail's health-care provider to provide documents and testimony relevant to the company's financial condition. Among the documents Smolen attached to the motion was an executive summary of the circumstances surrounding Williams' death, prepared by the Sheriff's Office. According to the summary, written by Cpl. Billy McKelvey, Williams rammed his head into the door of his holding cell shortly after he arrived at the jail in the early hours of Oct. 22. When found by detention officers, he complained that he had "broke his neck," the report says. It goes on to say that Williams was left untreated in his holding cell for 10 1/2 hours and defecated on himself. Williams eventually was taken to a shower within the jail's medical unit, where he was put in "feet first, on his back; the shower turned on" for 1 1/2 to two hours, the summary states. He was then taken to a medical cell. "During this time, Elliott repeatedly told detention staff and medical staff that he was unable to move," the executive summary states.

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