Uncle of deceased inmate: “He was given a death sentence”

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NORMAN, Okla. - An uncle is demanding answers after he says his nephew died hours after being arrested.

Marconia Kessee, 35, was arrested Tuesday for trespassing at Norman Regional Hospital. His uncle Michael Washington told News 4, Kessee went in for a headache.

"I wasn't there, but I believe it in my heart that he refused to leave because he wasn't treated and he felt that he needed more medication because his headache was still hurting him," explained Washington. "He was given a death sentence, bottom line."

Washington said Kessee was diagnosed with ADHD and as bipolar when he was a child, but he claims he's never been combative.

Melissa Herron, supervisor of Marketing and Communication for Norman Regional Health System, said Kessee was treated but to due privacy laws, no other details were given.

"Mr. Kessee was seen by an emergency medical provider in our emergency department and discharged in stable condition. Based on his condition at discharge, he was deemed fit for incarceration," a statement read. "Each person who seeks treatment in our emergency department is cared for specific to their condition and what medical needs they have."

Cleveland County Sheriff Todd Gibson told News 4 there was a disagreement over narcotics. When Kessee was taken to jail, we're told he was moved to a padded cell after he allegedly tried to hurt himself.

"It’s a monitored cell so we have a process by which we conduct checks and it was during one of those checks that one of the deputies said hey, there’s not any movement from him," explained Sheriff Gibson.

Gibson said Kessee was rushed to the hospital where he later died and his agency took immediate action.

"We understand that the loss of any citizen is a tragedy and it is something that we take very seriously, and so that’s why specifically we asked for an impartial group like OSBI to come in and review our actions," he told News 4.

Washington said something doesn't add up.

"I’m not saying he doesn’t have the right to be arrested but when you yourself call the police on this man, who has a headache, who has a problem, obviously he’s hurting," he said. "Justice right now means giving us satisfaction in knowing the actual causes of death, and also satisfaction in knowing that the hospital will be held accountable."

News 4 sent the following questions to Norman Regional Hospital. We have not received a response as of 4:30 p.m. Thursday:

1) How long was Mr. Kessee in the care of Norman Regional Hospital?

2) Did Mr. Kessee request more treatment after he was discharged?

3) I spoke with Mr. Kessee’s uncle today. He says the family wants to know why he was arrested and/or why the hospital felt the need to call police. Could you clarify?

4) Mr. Kessee’s family says they believe someone needs to be held accountable for his death, including the hospital. Does NRH have a response?

Washington said the family is prepared to seek legal action if necessary.

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