OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A man who is already in the Oklahoma County Detention Center is being charged in connection with his cellmate’s murder.

“It should have never happened, but if that person did commit that crime, that person does need to pay for it,” said Chris Johnston, People’s Council for Justice Reform member. 

Shawn Michael Slavens, 46, was in the intensive care unit for 17 days before succumbing to his injuries last month.

His sister told KFOR he was considered brain dead after being severely beaten by his cellmate, a man with a long history of violent crimes.

Officials with the Oklahoma County Detention Center say staff responded to an inmate-on-inmate altercation in a cell on June 25, 2022, at approximately 3:10 a.m.

“When staff opened the cell, they discovered Shawn Slavens unconscious but breathing, and they began to render medical aid,” said Mark Opgrande with the Oklahoma County Detention Center. “Slavens was transported to the hospital.”

Shawn Michael Slavens in ICU
Shawn Michael Slavens in ICU. Image from his sister, Stephanie Powers.

Sources close to the investigation told KFOR that 15 minutes after Slavens was put in jail, he was attacked by cellmate Alfred Means.

It was Means that called guards over to the cell because he hurt his hand during “a fight with his cellie,” according to sources.

Alfred Means, Oklahoma County Detention Center

According to the court documents, guards found Means standing at the door of his cell and Slavens unconscious on the floor.

The documents state that Means claimed Slavens had his paperwork. As a result, he said he “took it back and hit him.”

He also said that when Slavens was on the ground, he “stomped his head.”

On Friday, Means was charged with first-degree murder or second-degree murder in the alternative.

“The district attorney has alleged that Mr. Means either intended to kill Mr. Slaven or that he acted with reckless disregard for this individual’s life,” explained Carter Jennings, a criminal defense attorney. 

According to Johnston, 12 inmates have died in the detention center so far and he says something needs to be done.  “It’s horrible,” said Johnston. “The national average, the data shows it is 1 to 2 deaths per year that happen at a jail. We’re at 12. We’re in route to losing 20.” 

Johnston adds that the People’s Council for Justice Reform is asking anyone who’s had problems with the Detention Center to submit a complaint to the Department of Justice. 

He was already in jail on a robbery with a dangerous weapon charge with a $100,000 bond.