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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Former Oklahoma Jail Administrator Indicted for Violating Civil Rights of Detainee

A one-count indictment was returned today charging a former administrator of the McClain County Jail in Purcell, Oklahoma, with a civil rights violation arising out of the death of a detainee in June 2013.  The indictment alleges that Wayne Barnes, then a lieutenant at the jail, exhibited deliberate indifference toward K.W. by denying him necessary medical care to treat his diabetes, resulting in K.W.’s death.

The indictment was announced by Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, and U.S. Attorney Mark Yancey of the Western District of Oklahoma.

According to the indictment, K.W. suffered from diabetes that he needed insulin to control.  The indictment alleges that from the time that K.W. arrived at the jail on June 16, 2013, he did not have insulin, he was not evaluated or treated by a doctor and he was not taken to a hospital for evaluation or treatment until the afternoon of June 19, 2013.  It was three days after K.W.’s arrival, according to the indictment, that Barnes observed K.W. lying on the floor of his cell, unresponsive.  Only then did Barnes direct a corrections officer to call emergency medical services, who arrived to find K.W.’s pupils fixed and dilated.  K.W. died on June 21, 2013, never having regained consciousness.  The indictment further alleges that Barnes knew that K.W. had a serious medical condition and willfully failed to provide him with necessary medical care, and that his failure to do so resulted in K.W.’s death.

Barnes is charged with one count of a death-resulting deprivation of rights under color of law.  If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.  The defendant also faces a potential $250,000 fine.

An indictment is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

This case is being investigated by the FBI’s Oklahoma City Division.  It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Julia Barry of the Western District of Oklahoma and Special Litigation Counsel Sheldon Beer of the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section.

Barnes Indictment

Civil Rights
Press Release Number: 
Updated October 4, 2016