An Oklahoma State Penitentiary inmate was charged in the October 2019 death of his cellmate.
William Clayton Brown, 37, was charged with first-degree murder for the death of Mark Lawhead, according to court documents filed in Pittsburg County District Court.
Lawhead’s death was not made public until a November 2019 meeting of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections’ Board of Corrections. The board met in executive session to discuss the “homicide of inmate Mark Lawhead,” according to the board’s agenda.
ODOC records show Brown is serving a life sentence out of McIntosh County for manslaughter in the first degree, a 15-year sentence for assault and battery on a police officer, and a 15-year sentence for carrying weapon/drugs/alcohol into a jail.
Lawhead was serving two 10-year sentences for failure to register as a sex offender out of Cherokee County District Court at the time of his death, according to court documents.
In a report prepared by ODOC investigators, on Oct. 19, 2019, a correctional officer was told by Brown that his cellmate, Lawhead, overdosed.
The correctional officer saw Lawhead laying under the bunk and when entry was made, discovered “a ligature made of cloth” around Lawhead’s neck with trauma to the head with a plastic bag covering the man’s head, the affidavit states.
Further investigation found damp towels that appeared to be used to try and clean up the scene and a second trash bag in Lawhead’s throat and shoved in with a toothbrush, the report states.
According to the affidavit, Brown invoked his right to silence during an interview
The report states a letter written by Brown was found in the mail room on Oct. 21, 2019 that stated, “I smoked a Savage last night, on God.”
Investigators wrote in the report that two different correctional officers saw Lawhead alive around 8 p.m. the night of his death and that Brown and Lawhead were secured in their cell the entire evening.
Court documents show Brown was also charged in the September 2019 stabbing of another inmate at OSP.
A correctional officer during a unit check observed Brown holding another inmate up against the door stabbing him, the report states.
The stabbing victim was transported to the McAlester Regional Health Center for lacerations to the forehead, cheek, neck, and lower leg and received a total of 47 stitches, the affidavit states.
According to the affidavit, the stabbing victim told investigators he had no clue why Brown stabbed him because they had no issues.
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