McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

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February 26, 2013

OSP continues crack down on inmate crime

McALESTER — The Oklahoma State Penitentiary is continuing its efforts to reduce inmate crime.

On Feb. 22, two OSP inmates were charged in Pittsburg County District Court with felony counts. Earlier this month, three other OSP inmates were also charged with felonies.

Recently charged were Christopher Overby, 23, and Merton Thomas Jim, 25.

Overby was charged with assault and battery on a correctional officer for allegedly striking an OSP sergeant in the face and grabbing him around the legs.

Jim was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon upon a correctional officer and possession of contraband in a penal institution for allegedly having a homemade knife, or shank, and stabbing an OSP correctional officer in the shoulder and back.

Charged earlier this month were OSP inmates Earl Engleking, 51; Joseph Scott Norwood, 29, and Adam Nelson, 24.

Engleking was charged with prisoner placing bodily fluids /substance on a correctional officer. Norwood was charged with assault and battery on a correctional officer. Nelson was charged with prisoner placing body fluid on government employee.

Terry Crenshaw, warden’s assistant for OSP, said a lot of offenses are handled within the prison. However, some offenses will be forwarded to the District 18 District Attorney’s Office. “It is not an everyday occurrence that offenders are charged with a crime,” Crenshaw said. “For simple violations of policy, we have administrative remedies we use. When this occurs, offenders are not charged with a crime in a court of law but are, however, held accountable through the administrative remedy process within the prison.”

Crenshaw said when an inmate incident causes danger to staff and other inmates, then charges will be filed. “If it is a state law violation, if an offender commits a crime, like assaulting staff or placing bodily fluid on staff, which in turn puts individuals, employees and offenders, in danger, or if it could disrupt security operations, we would seek state charges.”

Nelson pleaded guilty to his new felony charge on Feb. 8 in Pittsburg County District Court. He was sentenced to serve an additional year of incarceration to be served consecutively to his current term. He is currently serving a 10-year sentence for Oklahoma County convictions of burglary, assault and making a bomb threat. His new scheduled release date is May 25, 2019, and he has a parole hearing set in September 2016.

Engleking is currently serving a 10-year sentence for an Oklahoma County assault conviction. His scheduled release date is June 5, 2017, and he has a parole hearing set in February 2014. If convicted of this new charge, he is facing an additional two years incarceration.

Norwood is currently serving time for LeFlore County convictions of burglary and grand larceny. His scheduled release date is May 31, 2015, and he has a parole hearing set in December 2013. If convicted, he is facing an additional five years incarceration.

Jim is currently serving a five-year sentence for a Pottawatomie County automobile theft conviction. His scheduled release date is July 30, 2013, and he has a parole hearing in April. If convicted, he is facing up to 10 years additional prison time for the assault charge and up to 20 years for the contraband charge.

Overby is currently serving a five-year sentence for a Tulsa County conviction of trafficking in illegal drugs and possession of a controlled drug. His scheduled release date is March 18, 2013. If convicted, he is facing an additional five years imprisonment.

Contact Rachel Petersen at rpetersen@mcalesternews.com.

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