McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Breaking News

February 5, 2013

Ex-guard at OSP pleads innocent in inmate death

McALESTER — A former correctional officer has pleaded not guilty to charges of manslaughter and willful neglect in the death of a prisoner in his cell at Oklahoma State Penitentiary last summer.

Former correctional officer David Willis pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Pittsburg County District Court and was released on af $1,500 bond.

Two other correctional officers were also charged with felony manslaughter and misdemeanor willful neglect in the death of convicted armed robber Julius Parker, who died of smoke inhalation in his cell at OSP July 28.

Former OSP guards David Anderson, 56, Jay Nair, 46, and David Willis, 30, all off McAlester, were charged Friday in Pittsburg County District Court with second-degree manslaughter and willful neglect to perform their duties in Parker’s death.

Parker, 26, was serving time out of Tulsa County for convictions on armed robbery and other charges. He arrived at OSP in April 2006 and was scheduled to be released in December 2032.

All three former correctional officers are no longer employed at the prison according to Jerry Massie, public information officer for the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. Massie said Anderson and Nair resigned in August and Willis was terminated in September after an investigation into the death was complete.

Massie said Anderson was hired at OSP in 1991, Nair was hired in 2007 and Willis was hired in 2006.

A warrant was issued Friday for the arrests of the three men. Anderson and Nair had not turned themselves in as of presstime Tuesday afternoon, according to Pittsburg County Sheriff Joel Kerns.

Parker allegedly started a fire in his cell sometime between at 12:19 a.m. and 1:29 a.m. the morning of his death, states an affidavit filed in the case.

At 1:29 a.m., smoke became visible to surveillance cameras and Anderson and Nair investigated the smoke, according to the affidavit by DOC Internal Affairs Agent James Parvin.

“No other personnel went to the door of Parker’s cell until 2:24 a.m.,” Parvin states.

At 2:24 a.m., Parvin reported Correctional Officer Garvis Wooten performed a check of Parker’s cell and then informed his chain of command that Parker’s cell was full of smoke “with zero visibility” and he couldn’t get (Parker) to respond, according to the affidavit.

An extraction team retrieved Parker from the cell at 2:50 a.m. He was taken to McAlester Regional Health Center and was pronounced dead at 3:47 a.m., Parvin’s affidavit states.

Parker’s death was a result of complications of smoke inhalation, according a report from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner completed on Aug. 21 and released Oct. 5, the affidavit states.

Charges of felony second-degree manslaughter allege the three did “effect the death of Julius Parker by culpable negligence in failing to perform their duties as correctional officers, including but not limited to checking on inmate Julius Parker’s welfare and failing to determine cause of smoke coming from his cell.”

They are all three charged with misdemeanor willful neglect to perform duty.

If convicted of the charges against them, Anderson, Willis and Nair face up to five years in prison and fines of up to $1,500.

Nair allegedly gave conflicting statements to officials after the incident, the affidavit states.

Several interviews with Nair were conducted by investigators July 28 and 30. Then on Aug. 2, Nair allegedly admitted that his July statements and written report were false.

Nair had initially reported Parker was conscious when Nair and Anderson went to check the cell at 1:38 a.m. and Parker was “upset over food passageway being secured,” the affidavit states.

Nair allegedly reported that at 1:50 a.m.,  he “went back and conducted a second unit check, Parker still agitated,” the affidavit states.

On Aug. 2, Nair allegedly changed his story to admit that when he approached Parker’s’ cell, there were no signs that Parker was conscious and he could not see into the cell to determine if Parker was conscious or alive, court records state.

Meanwhile, during an interview on Aug. 1, Anderson allegedly admitted he and Nair approached Parker’s cell on July 28 after “noting smoke coming from the cell.”

Anderson said he did not hear anything or see anything that led him to believe Parker was alive at that time, the affidavit states.

Anderson allegedly reported that neither he nor Nair attempted to communicate with Parker at that time.

Court records also state Anderson allegedly heard Nair report to the oncoming shift that Parker was conscious and beating on the door of his cell, and Anderson did not contradict or offer different observations,

Willis allegedly said during interviews he saw smoke coming from Parker’s cell and “there was quite a lot of it.”

Willis also allegedly stated he did not leave a control booth at the prison to go check on Parker and did not report the incident because “he felt Nair had appropriately informed the chain of command,” the affidavit states.

Contact Jeanne LeFlore at jlefore@mcalesternews.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Breaking News
  • 5 Things to Know Taxe_Brac.jpg Tax Deadline!

    The deadline for filing taxes is midnight Today, Tuesday, April 15, 2014.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Judge Bill Layden Protest filed against judge candidate

    A protest has been filed in Oklahoma City against the candidacy of a local attorney for a judge's seat.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Square logo.jpg Local woman scammed this morning for $750

    Debra Williams, 53, of McAlester, said she was scammed Monday morning for the sum of $750.

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • BLACKMAN,-RICHARD-ROCKY.jpg Suspects CAPTURED in robbery attack

    Police say they have captured a McAlester couple wanted in connection with the beating and robbery of some $10,000 in casino winnings of a 69- year-old McAlester man.

    April 1, 2014 2 Photos 3 Stories

  • FOURKILLER,-TONI.jpg Vehicle found in McAlester casino beating/robbery case

    Police say they have found a vehicle connected to the beating and robbery of some $10,000 in casino winnings of a 69- year-old McAlester man.
     

    March 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • WRECK.jpg Accident closes intersection

    Athree vehicle accident closed the of intersection Carl Albert Parkway and Sixth Street about 2 p.m. on Friday, police say.

    The accident closed the intersection for less than an hour.

    The jaws of life were used to remove one person who was hospitalized later reported in stable condition, according the McAlester police. Two others were treated at the scene and released.

    March 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Square logo.jpg Smoke in McAlester

    March 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kiowa State 3 Cowboys fall at State

    Ty Lazenby scored 37 points, leading the Glencoe Panthers to a 57-39 win against the Kiowa Cowboys in Saturday's Class A state championship at State Fair Park's Jim Norick Arena in Oklahoma City.

    March 8, 2014 3 Photos

  • Glencoe wins state championship over Kiowa

    Kiowa fell to Glencoe in its state championship Saturday, 57-39.

    March 8, 2014

  • Lions end Buffs’ postseason

    Skye Lowe and Zac Cater combined for 30 points, leading the Durant Lions past the McAlester Buffaloes in Friday’s area consolation semifinal in Catoosa, 72-63.
     

    March 8, 2014

Seasonal Content
AP Video
Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Pistorius Trial: Adjourned Until May 5 Diaz Gets Physical for New Comedy Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge
NDN Video
Jenny McCarthy Engaged to "New Kid" Kate and Will Land in Oz Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Bay Area Teen Gets Prom Date With Help From 'Breaking Bad' Star Behind The Tanlines Jersey Strong Part 1 WATCH: Women Fight To Marry Prince Harry! O’Reilly Launches Preemptive Strike Against CBS Pixar Unveils Easter Eggs From its Biggest Movies Baby Sloths Squeak for Their Cuddle Partners in Adorable Video Miley Cyrus Hospitalized After Severe Reaction To Medicine Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Toddler climbs into vending machine 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Much-Anticipated 'Gone Girl' Trailer Finally Debuts! (VIDEO) Dog and Toddler Wear Matching Outfits in Adorable Photo Series VP Biden: "World witnesses ordinary citizens doing extraordinary things" It's Official! Michael Strahan Joins "GMA" Blood Moon Time-lapse Actress Lake Bell Goes Topless The Five Weirdest Local Taxes in America
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.