McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Local News

March 15, 2013

OSP inmate pleads guilty to manslaughter

McALESTER — A convicted murder from the Oklahoma State Penitentiary was set to go to trial in Pittsburg County to face a charge of manslaughter in the stabbing death of another OSP inmate. Before the trial began, he reached a plea bargaining agreement with the District 18 District Attorney’s Office and pleaded guilty.

Gregory S. Thompson, 40, was originally charged in Pittsburg County District Court in September 2010 with first degree murder after he allegedly stabbed fellow inmate Daniel L. Clayton, 38, on Sept. 3, 2009.

In 2011, the charge against Thompson was reduced to first degree manslaughter. Thompson also pleaded guilty to a felony charge of possession of contraband (a knife) by an inmate.

Thompson was sentenced to serve an additional five years in the custody of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections for the manslaughter conviction. He was sentenced to 10 years on the contraband charge, to be served concurrently with his current sentence. He was also fined $900.

According to court records, officers at OSP were conducting an inmate count at 10:05 p.m. on Sept. 3, 2009, when they “saw inmate Daniel Clayton lying on the floor of the cell bloody and unresponsive ... (and) saw inmate Gregory Thompson standing over Daniel Clayton wiping his hands.”

Thompson then handed officers a homemade knife while saying, “it isn’t what it looks like I had to defend myself,” according to court records. Thompson was removed from the cell by correctional officers and taken to a secure location while Clayton was placed on a stretcher and rushed over to the medical unit, court records state.

A nurse in OSP’s medical unit checked Clayton’s vital signs and could not find a pulse, court records state. Then, a doctor at OSP pronounced Clayton’s death at 11 p.m. At the time of his death, Clayton was serving a 20-year sentence for a Comanche County first degree robbery conviction. Clayton had also served time for multiple prior convictions of burglary, concealing stolen property and possession of contraband in a penal institution.

Thompson is currently serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for a 2003 Oklahoma County first degree murder conviction.

Contact Rachel Petersen at rpetersen@mcalesternews.com.

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