McALESTER A fight Tuesday at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary among four "old-time convicts" left one inmate dead, one injured and two in administrative segregation, prison officials said Wednesday.
The inmates, all convicted killers who have spent much of their lives behind bars, began fighting apparently after a disagreement over a drug deal, said prison spokeswoman Linda Morgan.
"On information we've received, it was possibly over drugs; either a drug deal that didn't work out or someone didn't get what he wanted," Morgan said.
Jimmy Blevins, 41, was pronounced dead at 6:55 p.m. Tuesday after he was stuck several times in the head with a metal pipe taken from a mop bucket, Morgan said.
Blevins was only the second inmate at the maximum-security prison to die at the hands of a fellow convict since corrections officials began locking down penitentiary inmates 23 hours a day in 1986.
Tom Lester Pugh, 54, was struck on the arm and face during the fight and may require surgery to repair a serious eye injury, Morgan said.
Prison officials placed Tony Kim Welty, 38, and Kenneth Funkhouser, 37, in segregated housing. Both could face administrative and criminal charges, Morgan said.
Morgan said the fight began when Pugh confronted Welty and blows were exchanged. Blevins apparently came to Pugh's defense and was confronted by Funkhouser, who told Blevins to stay out of the argument, Morgan said.
A corrections officer who saw the disturbance began to intervene, but was told by Funkhouser to back off, Morgan said. When the officer returned with other staff members, they saw Welty strike Blevins several times in the head with the metal pipe, she said.
Officers found a 10-inch homemade knife in Blevins' waistband, which he apparently had no chance to draw during the fight, Morgan said.
Blevins was serving 20 years for a 1983 armed robbery in Oklahoma County. He previously served a 30-year sentence for the 1966 strangulation of a 15-year-old cellmate at the Oklahoma State Reformatory.
Blevins was acquitted in 1975 and 1980 in the deaths of two other inmates.
In the 1980 case, Blevins was found not guilty in the stabbing death of an unarmed black inmate. Blevins and a fellow convict claimed the attack was prompted by self-defense amid racial unrest at the prison.
Funkhouser is serving a life sentence for murder, plus 150 years for three armed robbery convictions out of Tulsa County.
Blevins and Funkhouser were charged with kidnapping in connection with the taking of hostages during the 1985 prison riot in McAlester.
However, Funkhouser was acquitted and the charges were dropped against Blevins after information showed Blevins tried to protect correctional officers.
Pugh was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1972 for killing Arles Delbert Self, a former cohort in the "Dixie Mafia" who testified against Pugh in the car-bombing of a Tulsa district judge.
Another person who testified against Pugh later was found shot to death, but charges against Pugh in that case were dropped.
Welty is serving 20 years for shooting with intent to kill, to be followed by two consectutive life sentences for the 1977 murder of his wife in Lawton, and the killing of another inmate at the penitentiary in 1981. BIOG: NAME:Archive ID: 462376