CBS Local — A former Oklahoma jail administrator was sentenced to more than four years in federal prison after the 2013 death of a diabetic inmate that the official allegedly accused of faking an illness.
Former McClain County Jail administrator Wayne Barnes was sentenced to 51 months in prison Wednesday and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine from a federal civil rights charge related to the death of 27-year-old inmate Kory Wilson, HuffPost reported.
Barnes was indicted by a grand jury in October 2016.
He admitted in a February hearing that he knew that Wilson was an insulin-dependent diabetic when he was jailed, that Wilson had a diabetic episode, and that he made a conscious decision to not transport Wilson to the hospital.
The former jail official also agreed that Wilson died due to Barnes’s willful ambivalence and intentional decision to deprive the diabetic of his constitutional right to medical care.
It is relatively rare for jail officials like Barnes to face criminal charges in connection with alleged negligence, HuffPost reported. Only a handful of federal civil rights indictments have alleged that corrections officials violated inmates’ civil rights due to “deliberate indifference” to their medical needs.
“Every law enforcement officer in this country takes an oath to uphold the United States Constitution,” said John Gore, the acting head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, in a statement. “The Constitution ensures that persons detained pending the adjudication of charges against them are entitled to necessary medical care. This sentence affirms the importance of that right and underscores the continuing commitment of the Civil Rights Division to hold officers accountable to their oaths.”
Wilson’s family also filed a lawsuit claiming that Barnes enforced a verbal policy at McClain County Jail that forbids employees from calling for medical help for inmates without seeking Barnes’s permission first.