OKLAHOMA CITY – Two former jailers for Oklahoma County have been charged with assault following an investigation into the death of an inmate who was repeatedly shot by pepper balls.
Colton Ray, 26, and Brian Harrison, 33, were charged Thursday with felony assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, The Oklahoman reported. Both were charged in connection to the April 19 death of 40-year-old Charlton Chrisman.
The altercation began after Chrisman flooded his cell when he tore off a sprinkler head. He was extracted from his cell after a piece of metal was spotted inside.
"Shortly after arriving, Chrisman's cell door was opened and Ray and Harrison immediately shot Chrisman with the pepper ball guns," the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation reported.
The officers continued shooting the victim as he tried to go down the hall, according to the affidavit.
An autopsy report shows Chrisman died from "agitated delirium due to acute methamphetamine intoxication." The report says that there were 14 to 16 circular contusions on the body consistent with pepper ball gun injuries. The victim also had multiple abrasions and contusions on his forehead, cheeks, nose, arms, legs and back, according to the autopsy report. It notes the "multiple pepper ball injuries" as a factor in the death.
Court records say that Ray and Harrison told authorities they shot Chrisman at close range.
Court records show Chrisman was arrested the day before after crashing his vehicle in the emergency room waiting area of an Oklahoma City hospital. He had a history of drug use and mental health issues, records show.
Chrisman's estate has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit last week against the county, Ray, Harrison, Sheriff P.D. Taylor and others.
Information from: The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com