OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – We continue to follow the story of an Oklahoma County Jail inmate who is in the hospital fighting for his life.

Shawn Michael Slavens remains in intensive care. His sister tells News 4 that he is brain dead after being severely beaten by his cellmate, a man with a long history of violent crime.

His sister tells us that his brother is on a ventilator and has been diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury.

“He’s still the same. The bruises are getting worse, you know, from the healing, I guess. And still brain dead. No response,” said Stephanie Powers, Slavens’ sister.

Stephanie Powers tells us he’s been battling a dangerous bacterial infection.

“He’s got Mersa in his nose now…which is common, I guess, when you’re in intensive care and in tubes and, you know, and on life support,” Powers said.

His family is very upset and want to know why Shawn was in a cell with a violent inmate in the first place, and why they were never told about his injuries.

Shawn Michael Slavens in intensive care. Image of his sister, Stephanie Powers.

Questions remain unanswered from officials at the Oklahoma County Detention Center, but an Oklahoma lawmaker we spoke to says he thinks families should be told.

“They should have been warned. So I don’t know the exact procedures…this process…they should have been allowed to know what was going on, whether or not they could have seen this person while they were in the hospital,” George Young said. , senator from Oklahoma.

Records reveal that families aren’t the only ones not being informed.

The Oklahoma County Detention Center failed to notify the state Department of Health, over a three-month period beginning in July last year, that 23 inmates had been injured. The October entries were also not complete.

“This has been an ongoing issue in Oklahoma County since the jail was built nearly 30 years ago. And I know it’s especially relevant now since the county passed the Tuesday bond issue for build a new facility,” said Carter Jennings, an Oklahoma City criminal defense attorney who manages the Carter Jennings law firm.

With nine dead in prison this year, Jennings says it’s time for a change.

“You can’t prevent 100% of things, obviously, but they can take steps to make it happen by doing some of the things that I talked about, like more money for staff training and health care there- low…just more guards and more staff and better training.

Changes that will come too late for Shawn Slavens. Her sister says prison has failed her and her family.

“You have completely let us down. I mean, nine deaths this year alone. It’s not correct. They don’t even tell you about it. They seem to keep it hidden. Why? What happens in the prison? said Powers.

This is an ongoing investigation, and we will continue to monitor it as new information becomes available.


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