OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – On Wednesday afternoon, an Oklahoma County judge granted a request to remove a 16-year-old juvenile inmate, who’s charged with first-degree murder, from the Oklahoma County Detention Center. This comes after the jail lost their certification to house juveniles last week.
“I think the judge did what she swore an oath to do and did the right thing,” Tommy Adler, attorney for 16-year-old Michael Gene Williams, said.
On Wednesday afternoon, Oklahoma County Judge Amy Palumbo granted Adler’s request to have Williams removed from the jail and transferred to the juvenile detention center.
“Unfortunately, the Oklahoma County Jail has a long history of death, serious injury, assault, malnutrition, incredibly insanitary health conditions. It’s a horrible place and it’s absolutely no place to hold a child,” Adler said.
This comes after a health inspection by the Oklahoma State Department of Health on July 13 at the jail found 35 “repeat deficiencies,” some of which were first discovered during a March 30 inspection.
The deficiencies include inmates not being fed three times a day, a lack of medical and mental health screenings, emergency phones that don’t work and juvenile inmates only seeing staff during meal time.
The jail ultimately lost their certification to house juveniles.
“He’s innocent unless proven guilty. He needs to be housed in a humane way, fit for a juvenile,” Adler said.
There are still 11 inmates under the age of 18, all charged with first-degree murder, inside the jail. A spokesperson for the jail told News 4 on Wednesday morning that they are currently working on plans to remove them and transfer them to another facility.
“They’re talking about taking care of the juveniles, what about the adults in there?” Pam Riggle said to KFOR.
Riggle contacted News 4 this week when she heard the news about the jail while watching one of our newscasts. She claims her daughter has experienced horrific conditions inside the jail, including dealing with bed bugs, head lice and no blankets or sheets inside her cell.
“Yesterday morning, there was a cockroach in her water cup when they served it to her, with an egg coming out of it,” said Riggle. “If she’s wrong, she’s wrong, but she’s not an animal.”