Former Kay County Detention Center Capt. enters not guilty pleas to federal charges

December 9, 2021 | Courts

OKLAHOMA CITY — Former Kay County Detention Center Capt. Matthew Ware entered not guilty pleas to two charges of Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law and one count of Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law; Aiding and Abetting in Federal Court.

Ware was indicted by a federal grand jury in November. (see story)

The indictment alleges that Ware willfully deprived three inmates of their rights during the month of May in 2017.

He is accused of ordering jail staff to move inmate DeAnglo Wilson into a row of jail cells housing inmates whom Ware knew posed a danger to Wilson. He also reportedly ordered jailers to unlock the cell doors in the housing unit.

Ware’s orders were reportedly followed resulting in Wilson being physically attacked by other inmates.

The indictment alleges that Ware did the same thing to a second inmate, whose initials are reported to be M. Miller also resulting in that inmate being attack and injured.

The third count alleges that Ware ordered one or more jailers to apply restraints to an inmate, whose initials are Christopher Davis in an unreasonable manner. The orders were reportedly followed resulting in the inmate being injured.

BACKGROUND

Allegations of the inmate abuse were given to the Kay County District Attorney’s office and investigated by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.

District Attorney Brian Hermanson recused from the case and Washington County District Attorney Kevin Buchanan was assigned. 

On Oct. 15, 2018, Buchanan declined to file charges and in a letter explaining his decision, commented on what he called “An obvious culture from the leadership in the facility to cover up mistakes or outright improper behavior and or violations.”

Buchanan went on to state: “Most importantly, employees who have come forward and pointed out such events in an effort to protect inmates or the facility have been met with demotion or termination. This attitude is not in the best interest of the facility or the citizens of Kay County. Learning from and fixing mistakes and being transparent in the process is always the better course.”

Buchanan also commented in the letter that Director Don Jones gave conflicting statements about his knowledge of the incident involving the two African American male inmates placed in an area of the jail populated with gang members. Buchanan noted that video of the incident could not be found but that its existence was referenced in written conversations between Jones and another.

(see entire letter here)

Jones was named director of the county jail on Jan. 10, 2014.

Ware is free on bond and is scheduled for a jury trial in federal court on Jan. 11.

See other stories on the Kay County Detention Center below.

Former jail employee convicted of embezzlement.

Former jail employee found not guilty of embezzlement.

Federal lawsuit filed against jail.

Jury trial set in case against jail.

Former jailers go on trial

One jailer found not guilty

ICE and county jail have an agreement

Court date set for inmate accused of assaulting jail staff