An Oklahoma State Penitentiary correctional officer was charged Monday for the alleged assault of a restrained inmate that was partially caught on camera while three other OSP officers were charged for allegedly lying to investigators about the incident.
Court records show William Graham, 35, of McAlester, was charged Monday with aggravated assault and battery, offering false evidence, and obstructing an officer.
Michael Boswell, 27, and Dylan Aragon, 28, both of McAlester were charged along with Richard Holloway, 37, of Krebs, with offering false evidence and obstructing an officer, according to documents filed Monday in Pittsburg County District Court.
Graham is accused of using “unnecessary or excessive force” on June 16, 2022, by striking an inmate who was restrained with his arms behind his back and in leg shackles while escorting the inmate to OSP’s medical unit.
A probable cause affidavit filed in the case sates on June 24, the inmate reported to prison officials that he was “physically beaten” by Lt. William Graham while he was being escorted to the medical unit for an evaluation following an altercation with another inmate.
Investigators wrote in the report that during an initial June 29 interview with Sgt. Michael Boswell, Boswell denied all allegations and said that Graham was not even present when the inmate was being escorted to the medical wing.
Graham denied all allegations during his initial interview, the report states.
Video from the medical unit hallway was obtained by investigators which shows Graham directly under the ceiling camera “appearing to strike or hit someone off camera view approximately three times” with Graham looking towards the incident before Dylan Aragon and Boswell were observed escorting the inmate down the hall with Holloway following behind, the affidavit states.
Investigators wrote in the report Holloway was seen on the video “looking up at the camera, walking off camera view” and exiting the medical unit.
According to the affidavit, during a July 11 interview with a ODOC investigators, Holloway denied an incident occurred but after being showed the video, Holloway admitted he did observe Graham strike the inmate and admitted that he did not document the incident.
Aragon initially reported that he did see Graham strike the inmate and also admitted to not documenting the incident, the affidavit states.
Investigators wrote during a second interview with Boswell, Boswell denied being untruthful or withheld any information during his first interview before later admitting he did observe Graham strike the inmate and not documenting the incident.
Graham also denied in a second interview with ODOC investigators that he was untruthful or withheld information during his first interview and after being shown the video, admitted that “it looked like he was striking” the inmate “but claimed he did not remember doing so,” the affidavit states.
A review of Graham’s incident report by investigators showed no information pertaining to striking of the inmate, the report states.
Another correctional officer who was interviewed denied during his initial interview that the incident occurred before being showed the video admitting he observed Graham hitting, poking, and slapping the inmate and not documenting the incident, the affidavit states.
A second interview was requested by the correctional officer who told investigators that he did see Graham strike the inmate “several times with his closed fists” numerous times in the head and torso area but “didn’t realize at the time what he was seeing and originally thought Graham was horse playing,” the report states. The correctional officer was not charged.
According to the report, a sixth correctional officer was interviewed, who told investigators he did not observe the incident “because his head was turned while he was speaking” to another officer. That officer was also not charged.
Contact Derrick James at email@example.com