After Elliott Earl Williams was arrested in Owasso, Okla., in connection to a disturbance at a hotel in October of 2011, he was taken to the Tulsa County Jail where he would later die in the most tragic of circumstances, the Tulsa World reports. In a video of his final days inside the Tulsa County Jail that was released last week, Williams is shown lying naked on a blanket inside of a cell.
According to an Owasso police report, “It was readily apparent that the suspect was having a mental breakdown. The suspect was rambling on about God, eating dirt.” Numerous publications report that Williams suffered from mental illness, but it is unclear exactly which one.
The ten-minute video shows Williams, 37, being dragged into a medical cell on a blanket at 8:27 a.m. Oct. 25. It ends on Oct. 27, with jail staff first checking the bottoms of Williams’ feet for a response around 8:41 a.m. and returning at 11:04 a.m. to do CPR on him. Williams was eventually pronounced dead after Tulsa firefighters failed to resuscitate him.
Watch video of Elliot Earl Williams’ Jail Death Below:
Here is more from the Tulsa World:
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.
Sheriff Stanley Glanz, healthcare facilitators, and other jail workers are facing a lawsuit from Williams’ estate that alleges a lack of mental and physical care for an inmate caused his death. Major Shannon Clark told ABC affiliate Tulsa 8 that inmates are often evaluated before booked into housing, though staff is not always aware of any mental health issues initially.
“Obviously, the death was a very unfortunate situation at the jail. On the advice of our counsel, because it is active litigation, we can’t comment on it, but we are actively looking forward to defending this in court,” Clark said.
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Continue reading Okla. Jail Under Fire After Mentally-Ill Inmate Dies In Jail Cell