Oklahoma County Commissioner, Sheriff request review after in-custody juvenile death
OKLAHOMA CITY – District One County Commissioner Carrie Blumert and Oklahoma County Sheriff P.D. Taylor have requested a review following the recent death of a 16-year-old held at the county jail.
John Leroy Daniel Applegate died May 1 at a hospital after he was found unconscious April 23 from an apparent suicide attempt.
The 16-year-old had been jailed since Feb. 2 after being arrested by police in Choctaw on a rape charge.
Blumert says the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth (OCCY) will make recommendations related to juveniles being held in the county jail under Oklahoma’s Youthful Offender Act.
“Juveniles, due to the serious nature of their charges, are being held in jails across Oklahoma awaiting trial,” she said. “I want to make sure that we do everything within our power to ensure that the juveniles in our facilities are being held in the safest environment possible while, at the same time, receiving the most appropriate services available. I believe that OCCY can offer us best practices in that regard,” Blumert stated.
Official reports say Applegate was being held alone.
A judge ruled in February the jail can no longer house detainees awaiting mental health treatment, but it’s unclear if Applegate was awaiting a mental health evaluation.
“We have worked hard since I became sheriff to ensure the safety of our staff and the detainees in our facility. “ Taylor continued, “Having OCCY review and make recommendations regarding how youths are held in adult facilities makes good sense.”
Sheriff Taylor recently announced the formation of a Community Advisory Board that, when fully implemented, would review and make recommendations on a wide variety of issues related to the sheriff’s office, including jail deaths.