Man dead after being found unresponsive in Tulsa County jail cell – Tulsa World


A person being held in the Tulsa County jail died this week after being found unresponsive in his cell.
Arrested Christmas Eve on a misdemeanor charge, Dean Courtney Stith, 55, was found wedged between a wall and his bed about 4 a.m. Monday, according to an incident report provided by the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office.
A detention officer noticed that Stith’s mattress had slid off his bed and called for nurses upon seeing his position. Moving Stith back onto his bed, the nurses were unable to measure his blood pressure. Firefighters arrived about 20 minutes after Stith was found; the only available EMSA medics were in Bixby, the report states.
After another 20 minutes, EMSA personnel arrived but shortly received another emergency medical call. A deputy helped medics determine that Stith was the priority patient based on his condition, and he was taken to a hospital about 5 a.m. He was pronounced dead about 6:30 a.m., the report states.
Tulsa police arrested Stith, who was found legally incompetent to stand trial in a 2020 felony case primarily due to dementia, on complaints of false reporting of a crime and trespassing, according to online jail records.
Stith reportedly had gone to a CVS store the night of his arrest and asked employees to call the police because “he had warrants,” according to an arrest and booking report.
Stith previously had been banned from the store at 15th Street and Utica Avenue, and responding officers, who wrote in the report that they have previously told Stith that he is banned, offered to take him to a shelter. The report identifies him as transient.
Stith reportedly refused, saying officers would instead have to take him to jail, and he “insisted” in detail that he had been robbed just before officers arrived, the report states.
Employees told officers that was not the case, and surveillance footage corroborated their version of events, according to the report.
Tulsa County prosecutors charged Stith, only on the former complaint — the false reporting of a crime — two days later. He remained in custody in lieu of a $500 bond after entering a plea of not guilty and was awaiting a jury trial sounding docket in late January.
Stith’s criminal history in Tulsa County begins in 1988 and spans cases that include larceny, burglary, drug possession, public intoxication, indecent exposure, robbery, and assault and battery. In many of the cases, charges were dismissed or he incurred fines or suspended sentences.
Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Casey Roebuck said an investigation will be launched into Stith’s death.
“As with all in-custody deaths, our jail investigations unit will conduct a thorough investigation and the Medical Examiner’s Office will determine the inmate’s cause of death,” Roebuck said.
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Staff Writer
I write because I care about people, policing and peace, and I believe the most informed people make the best decisions. I joined the Tulsa World in 2019 and currently cover breaking news. Phone: 918-581-8455
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