OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (KFOR) – A woman continues her search for answers after her husband was killed at the Federal Transfer Center last September.
“My husband was supposed to be home in less than a year and now he’s never coming home,” said Abbie Alvarado-Patterson.
54-year-old Jonathan Patterson was serving out the remainder of a 96-month sentence on federal drug and firearm charges; he was being held at the administrative security facility while awaiting a move to a permanent prison.
“He was organizing Bible studies. He had been baptizing the other inmates when he was in jail,” she added.
“His life had changed.”
On the day he died, Patterson was found unresponsive in his cell with multiple injuries; he was later pronounced dead by EMS personnel, according to a release by the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
Several months later, Jonathan Patterson’s autopsy suggests he was beaten beyond recognition.
Noted findings included “blunt force trauma of the head and neck, abraded contusions, bilateral rib fractures and focal minimal retroperitoneal hemorrhage”.
“There was a specific gentleman that said that he began hearing noises as from midnight to the early hours of the morning [and] When [an] inmate found my husband, he didn’t even recognize my husband,” Abbie continued.
A federal grand jury chose to indict a suspect, Jose Romero-Olivares, on second-degree murder charges in March.
However, in an email to KFOR, the Bureau of Prisons declined to comment further on the case:
For safety, security, and privacy reasons, this office does not share specifics regarding the cause of death for any inmate. The official cause of death is determined by the medical examiner and not the Bureau of Prisons (BOP).
Additionally, based on the need to ensure safety and security in our institutions, and in accordance with privacy concerns, we do not discuss whether a particular inmate is the subject of allegations, nor do we provide information relating to investigations.Office of Public Affairs
Office of Congressional and Public Affairs
Federal Bureau of Prisons
“It seems the more information that they give me, the more questions that I have,” said Alvarado-Patterson.
“If the person had a weapon, how did he get it? Why did it take [so long] for them to find my husband? Where were the guards? I feel like someone turned a blind eye.”
“It’s about wanting to know that those responsible are going to pay for what they did, even if they weren’t the ones that actually committed the crime.
However, deaths in law enforcement custody continue to garner criticism as compilations of public data suggest a sharp undercount, even though the Death in Custody Reporting Act requires U.S. states and territories to collect and report data on deaths that occur while someone is detained or arrested by law enforcement.
“Men are dying in custody [and] this is not okay. People get charged. They serve their time. They should be kept safe. And when their time is done, they go home. That’s not the case here. [Jonathan’s] not coming home.”