(Cushing, Okla.) – Four inmates who died as a result of injuries sustained in a Saturday afternoon fight at the privately-owned Cimarron Correctional Facility in Cushing were identified this afternoon as Anthony Fulwilder, Michael Mayden, Kyle Tiffee and Christopher Tignor, by the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.
Three other inmates who remained hospitalized this morning from their injuries were identified as Jared Cruce, Cordell Johnson and Jesse Hood, according to a DOC news release this afternoon.
“An additional offender was treated at the hospital and taken back to the facility,” the news release said.
Regarding the incident at the Cimarron Correctional Facility, Cushing Police Chief Tully Folden told KUSH today “We responded out there – it’s our jurisdiction.”
Three Cushing officers, along with two civil defense members, went to the prison, but remained outside, Folden said.
“The fire department was also there getting the injured out of the facility to the Cushing hospital,” where three more Cushing police officers remained for security purposes for a couple of hours, Folden said.
“CCA sent two (correctional) officers with each inmate to the hospital,” the Cushing police chief said.
The Payne County Sheriff’s Office was called by the Cushing Police Department, which “advised us there was a possible riot at the Cushing prison in progress,” Sheriff’s Captain Kevin Woodward told KUSH today.
“We responded with two units. We were called off before we got there,” the sheriff’s captain said.
“We’re there in case someone makes it through the fence,” the sheriff’s captain told KUSH.
Saturday afternoon’s “inmate-on-inmate altercation lasted less than two minutes with staff responding very quickly to quell the disturbance, CCA said in a news release on Sunday.
“Staff then worked for approximately 38 minutes to secure the housing area where the incident took place.
“One of the inmates taken offsite for medical treatment succumbed to his injuries, bringing the number of confirmed dead to four.
“Three inmates remain in area hospitals in stable condition,” the CCA news release said.
“The facility remains on lockdown while an investigation is ongoing.
“CCA is working closely with officials from the Oklahoma DOC Office of Inspector General, and will cooperate fully with its ongoing investigation,” the CCA news release said.
On Saturday at 4:39 p.m., “facility staff at the Cimarron Correctional Facility quelled an inmate disturbance,” that was contained to a single housing pod and lasted approximately 40 minutes,” the CCA news release said.
“The facility has been placed on lockdown status – meaning inmates are confined to their housing areas.
“This practice gives facility management and law enforcement the opportunity to isolate, review and investigate the incident, as well as conduct a welfare check on all offenders housed at the facility,” the CCA news release said.
“No staff members were injured in the incident,” in which local law enforcement and the Oklahoma Department of Corrections were immediately notified. The incident is under investigation,” the CCA news release said.
The Cimarron Correctional Facility in Cushing is a 1,720-bed private prison that houses medium and maximum security male inmates for the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, the CCA news release said.
Three months ago, another brawl at Cimarron Correctional Facility sent 11 inmates to the hospital, Oklahoma DOC spokeswoman Terri Watkins said.
CCA reported that 200 to 300 inmates were involved in that incident, Watkins said.
That fight began on June 10 at 4:36 p.m. and was under control by 5:15 p.m., Watkins said. It “occurred partially on the yard and in three different housing units, Watkins said.
“There were no staff injuries and no physical damage to the facility,” Watkins said.
Payne County District Attorney Laura Thomas told KUSH today, “Neither the private prison or DOC has ever submitted or briefed my office on the last riot. Nor did they notify us of this current situation.”
The latest melee at the private prison in Cushing has been the most violent reported since the March 22, 2005, fatal riot in which a member of a white prison gang called the Universal Aryan Brotherhood was slain and 20 inmates were injured in what was termed a racially-motivated riot, authorities said.
In December 2006, a first-degree murder charge was dropped against Eric M. Johnson, a convicted killer from Tulsa County, who was accused of fatally stabbing Adam Gene Lippert, 32, of Davenport, during the riot, and always maintained his innocence.
Then-prosecutor Tom Lee said that he dropped the murder charge due to the disappearance of former inmate Steven R. Pigg, who had testified at a preliminary hearing that Johnson was the inmate who stabbed Lippert.
“We don’t want to go to trial when our best ammunition is not there,” Lee said. “We will refile the murder charge when we find Pigg,” Lee had said.
Pigg had been released from prison on Dec. 8, 2005, after discharging a two-year sentence for marijuana possession in Tulsa County, state DOC reports show.