Man dies after being found unresponsive in Tulsa County jail cell

by Mike Creef, Staff Writer
tulsa county jail

The Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that an inmate has died while in custody at the Tulsa County jail.

Dean Courtney Stith, 55, was found by a detention officer wedged in between a wall and his bed around 4 a.m. on Christmas morning. According to the incident report provided by the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office, the detention officer noticed Stith’s mattress had slid off his bed and saw Stith wedged in between the bed frame and the wall.

EMSA medics arrived about 40 minutes later, according to the report, since the only available personnel were across town in Bixby.

Stith was taken to a hospital around 5 a.m. and was later pronounced dead at about 6:30 a.m.

Trespass charge leads to death in jail

Tulsa police arrested Stith on Christmas Eve on complaints of false reporting of a crime. Initially the police were called to remove Stith from a property for trespassing. The responding officers had interacted with Stith in the past and told him that he was banned from the property and offered to take him to a shelter, according to their report. 

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Stith reportedly refused and insisted that he had been robbed before officers arrived.

He was taken to jail and charged two days later with the false reporting of a crime. He remained in custody on a $500 bond.

Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Casey Roebuck said an investigation will be launched into Stith’s death.

“As with all in-custody deaths, our jail investigations unit will conduct a thorough investigation and the Medical Examiner’s Office will determine the inmate’s cause of death,” Roebuck said.

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1 comment

gregbreakpointgmailcom January 13, 2022 - 3:03 pm

Let me get this straight. No one at the Tulsa County Jail, a huge facility with a large staff, has anyone trained as an EMT or first aid, or triage? None of Tulsa’s Fire Dept. EMTs were on duty or available? The only EMT unit was in another city. So a prisoner in obvious distress was allowed to lie and die while everyone waited for the only medial personal available in the City of Tulsa. So any guard in the facility that had a medical emergency would also be left to die? It appears more likely that as usual in the racist Tulsa Sherriff’s office that being black meant an expendable life. Better off the streets forever than to be saved.

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