Oklahoma County DA files charges against two jailers after inmate’s death

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater has filed charges against two jailers, eight months after Charlton Chrisman was found unresponsive in his cell at the Oklahoma County jail.

Charlton Chrisman was arrested April 18 after he drove through the Deaconess Hospital waiting room window.

The next day, he was found unresponsive in his jail cell and pronounced dead at the hospital. He was 40 years old.

NonDoc reported an autopsy showed he died from acute methamphetamine intoxication.

After an investigation with OSBI, the Oklahoma County DA charged two jailers with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

According to the affidavit, two special emergency response team or S.E.R.T. members, Colton Ray and Brian Harrison opened Chrisman's jail cell and immediately shot Chrisman with pepper ball guns. They continued as Chrisman went down a hallway.

The affidavit states Ray and Harrison admitted to immediately shooting at Chrisman and shooting him at close range with a pepper ball.

Another person said he overheard a detention officer telling the S.E.R.T team to not talk to Chrisman and just shoot him.

A civil lawsuit was also filed December 5 and some of the defendants include Ray, Harrison, then Acting Sheriff P.D. Taylor and also former Sheriff John Whetsel.

The civil suit alleges they failed to provide Chrisman with proper medication for a mental illness.

It also alleges excessive force by shooting Chrisman with 16 pepper balls, using pepper spray in his face and using knee drops while Chrisman was still in handcuffs and shackles.

Oklahoma County sheriff's officials tell us Ray resigned in August and Harrison was fired on Thursday.

Ray worked for the Oklahoma County jail for four years while Harrison worked there for almost six years.

News 4 reached out to the Oklahoma County jail for further comment. They referred us to the district attorney's office. We have not heard back.

The attorney for the Chrisman estate declined to comment pending litigation.

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