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Settlement Reached in McClain County Inmates Death


On June 16, 2013, Kory Dane Wilson was arrested at the Newcastle Casino for reportedly carrying a firearm. He was booked into the McClain County Jail. Five days later, Wilson was dead.

Wilson, who had Type 1 diabetes, told authorities about his medical condition when he was booked into jail. Yet being armed with knowledge about the inmate's diabetes, jail employees did not provide any medication or treatment for the man. During the three days between his booking and his death, Wilson was not given any insulin.

When he was found unresponsive in his cell on June 19, Wilson was transported to a local hospital. He never regained consciousness, and he died two days later. The cause of death was diabetic ketoacidosis, a serious complication of diabetes that occurs when the body is deprived of insulin. 

Wilson's family filed a lawsuit, and former jail administrator Wayne Evans Barnes was indicted for civil rights violations when federal grand jurors determined he acted with "deliberate indifference" and willful failure to provide medical care. 

In February, Barnes pleaded guilty to one count of deprivation of rights under color of law. In August, a federal judge sentenced the former jail administrator to 51 months in prison.

Now, the estate of Kory Dane Wilson has reached a settlement with McClain County commissioners, who agreed to pay $750,000 to settle the case.

Speaking of the outcome, attorney John Branum iterated his hope that such a settlement would send a clear message about the necessity of jail reform. "Hopefully," he said, "this serves as a deterrent for jails around the state and the country not to do this."

The state continues to have one of the highest inmate death rates, and the Oklahoma County Jail is on track to have another record-breaking year as far as inmate deaths. Certainly, if the jails and prisons of any state need this message, it is Oklahoma. 

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