A federal grand jury in Muskogee, Okla., has indicted Jerrod Porter Lane, 26, former detention officer at the Muskogee County Jail (MCJ) in Oklahoma, on six charges related to two separate assaults of an inmate housed at MCJ and the subsequent attempts to cover up his behavior, all during October 2011.
Lane is charged with violating the civil rights of the victim for spraying him with Oleoresin Capsicum (OC or pepper spray) on Oct.1, 2011, while the victim was fully restrained. Lane is also charged with falsifying both his own incident report and the report of a fellow jailer when Lane falsely wrote that the victim was physically resisting and that the victim was not restrained at the time Lane dispensed his pepper spray.
Lane is also charged with conspiring with Phillip Oliver, an inmate at MCJ, to assault that same victim on Oct. 6, 2011. Lane is further charged with once again violating the civil rights of the victim when he directed inmate Phillip Oliver to go into the victim’s cell and assault him. Specifically, Lane and Oliver agreed that Oliver would assault the victim because the victim was making verbal comments and noise while restrained inside a cell at MCJ. The indictment further alleges that Lane told Oliver to “go in there and do what you gotta do,” promising to cover for Oliver if he later got into trouble for assaulting the victim. The indictment alleges that thereafter, Lane remotely popped open the victim’s cell door, allowing Oliver to assault the victim, who was not resisting or posing a threat to anyone.
Lane faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison for both the conspiracy and civil rights offenses. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for falsification of incident reports. Finally, Lane faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison for making materially false statements to the FBI.
An indictment is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.
Inmate Oliver pleaded guilty last week in U.S. District Court in Muskogee, Okla., to one count of conspiracy for his role in conspiring with Jerrod Lane to assault the victim.
This case is being investigated by the Muskogee Resident Agency of the Oklahoma City Division of the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan M. Roberts for the Eastern District of Oklahoma and Trial Attorney Fara Gold of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.