McALESTER — A former Oklahoma State Penitentiary guard has pleaded not guilty to second-degree manslaughter in the death of an inmate.
David Willis was charged last week in the July 2012 death of Julius Parker. Authorities say Parker died of smoke inhalation after setting a fire in his cell.
An affidavit alleges that Willis and two other guards did not promptly check on Parker, despite seeing smoke coming from his cell.
A local newspaper reports that Willis entered the not guilty plea Tuesday in Pittsburg County District Court. Court records do not list an attorney for him.
Department of Corrections spokesman Jerry Massie says Willis was fired in September after an internal investigation into Parker's death.
Two other former guards also face manslaughter charges but they have not yet turned themselves in.