The Duncan Banner

Local News

September 12, 2013

Jail in lockdown; visitation canceled

DUNCAN — An incident Saturday night in Stephens County Jail sparked Sheriff Wayne McKinney’s fuse enough to order an immediate lockdown. That lockdown has been extended to also include no visitation orders until further notice, McKinney told The Banner on Wednesday.

He said one pod was shutdown Saturday night when 25-30 inmates refused to return to their cells. When guards requested backup from Stephens County Sheriff’s Office and Duncan Police Department, the response was quick.

“When we showed up in force, they (prisoners) gave up and complied.”

McKinney said the incident began when guards learned someone had a device which could be made into a weapon. The inmates were ordered to return to their cells and refused.

“They put up a resistance,” he said. That’s when the pod was put into lockdown and the inmates were in an area known as the day area. During the time they were in there, they broke a sprinkler head as a diversion and flushed the contraband down a toilet. They also busted a television set, which McKinney said they will not get back.

“A lot of this is associated with the amount of prisoners we have. We have over 180 today and by this weekend it will probably be over 200. Our capacity is at 164,” McKinney said.

“Whenever you have a troublemaker, and you can’t segregate them, (male or female) because you don’t have the space, this is what happens.”

He said contrary to what has been reported in other area news outlets, there was not a fight or brawl.

“I’m not going to put my people in harm’s way. We run the jail, they don’t,” he said about the inmates. He also said even though it was just a few inmates who caused the uproar, it means all visitation is canceled for all inmates until he gives a different order.

“They can stay in lockdown until hell freezes over. We’re in charge.” Rumors have surfaced on Facebook that the jail has been in lockdown for a couple of weeks. McKinney said this isn’t true.

McKinney said one of his biggest concerns is for the future. He said the overcrowding situation “is not going to go away.” He plans to address it after the first of the year.

“I’m going to find a place to put up a tent (with wire) to house our less violent ones,” he said.

Text Only
Local News
  • Bench found competent, trial to start Monday

    A jury took 50 minutes on Thursday to find Miles Sterling Bench competent to stand trial for first-degree murder  and District Judge Joe Enos scheduled the trial to begin Monday.
    Bench, 23, of, Velma, is accused of the bludgeoning death of 16-year-old Braylee Henry of Velma. She was killed in June 2012 in the Teepee Totem convenience store in Velma where Bench was employed.

    April 18, 2014

  • 4-18 Miller and Decathlon 0016.jpg Miller pumps up decathlon students

    Dr. Ché Miller, who helped bridge a funding gap needed to send the Duncan High School Decathlon Team to the national competition in Hawaii, gave the team a pep talk on Thursday.
    Miller, recently recognized as the Man of the Year by the Duncan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told the students they are about to embark on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and advised them to absorb as much of the experience as they can.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Churches prepare for Easter Sunday

    Churches throughout Duncan and Stephens County are preparing to celebrate Easter this Sunday, the day Christians celebrate the ascension of Jesus Christ into heaven.
    Today is known as Good Friday to mark the day Christ was crucified on a cross.

    April 18, 2014

  • 4-18 lauren-ellis mug.jpg Ellis named new CEO of regional United Way

    Lauren Ellis, who’s led the United Way of Stephens County for more than two years, has been named the new chief executive officer of the United Way of Southwest Oklahoma.
    Her new job will be based in Lawton but Ellis said she will remain in Duncan and commute.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jurors to decide Bench competency issue today

    Jurors will hear final arguments on Thursday and then be asked to determine whether  23-year-old Miles Sterling Bench is mentally competent to stand trial for first-degree murder in the bludgeoning death of 16-year-old Braylee Henry nearly two years ago.

    April 17, 2014

  • 4-17 Decathlon Team1 0127.jpg DHS Decathlon Teams prepares

    Not every high school student gets an all-expense paid trip to Hawaii. But that’s exactly what’s happening with the 10 team members of the Duncan High School Decathlon Team.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Baseball tourney to be held in Wiles' memory

    The Duncan Middle School baseball team will hold a tournament in memory of the late Alyssa Wiles.

    April 17, 2014

  • Corporon memorial planned for Friday in Marlow

    A candlelight vigil for Dr. William Corporon and his grandson Reat Underwood will be held at Marlow High School at 8 p.m. Friday.

    April 17, 2014

  • Gay recuses himself from Morales trial

    Associate District Judge Dennis Gay on Wednesday disqualified himself from the trial of Dr. Oscar Morales Jr.

    April 17, 2014

  • Psychologists disagree on Bench’s mental competency

    Two psychologists on Tuesday offered differing opinions  about the mental competency of Miles Sterling Bench to stand trial for first-degree murder in the 2012 death of Braylee Henry.
    Bench, dressed in a dark blue suit, sat through a second day of court proceedings that will determine if the case against him goes to trial. The state is seeking the death penalty.

    April 16, 2014