McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Police/Courts

April 11, 2013

Convicted murderer from OSP found hanging in cell

McALESTER — A convicted Oklahoma County murderer was found hanging in his cell at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary on Tuesday afternoon, prison officials said.

Elvin M. Gerard, 47, was single-celled and housed in OSP’s D-Unit, said Regina VanBlaricom, assistant public information officer. At around 2:27 p.m., prison staff found Gerard unresponsive, she said. “Security and medical staff immediately responded to the incident,” VanBlaricom said. “The offender was pronounced deceased.”

Gerard was serving a life sentence for 1986 Oklahoma County convictions of first degree murder and kidnapping for the purpose of extortion, according to the Oklahoma Department of Corrections website. He had also been convicted in Oklahoma County of robbery with firearms and in Cleveland County of conspiracy.

Gerard began serving time in the custody of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections on March 3, 1987. He had a parole hearing scheduled in September of 2015.

“Early indications in the investigation indicate the cause of death may have been a suicide,” VanBlaricom said. “An investigation continues into the incident by the Oklahoma State Penitentiary and the Oklahoma Department of Corrections Internal Affairs division.”

VanBlaricom said no staff injuries were reported as a result of the incident and Gerard’s cause of death will be determined by the Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s office.

Contact Rachel Petersen at rpetersen@mcalesternews.com.

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