Oklahoma prison inmate's death is suspected suicide, officials say

The state Corrections Department said the Wednesday death of an inmate at the Oklahoma State Reformatory is likely a suicide.
By Graham Lee Brewer gbrewer@opubco.com Published: January 17, 2014
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The death of an inmate found clinging to life in his cell Wednesday at the Oklahoma State Reformatory appears to be a suicide.

Jerry Massie, state Corrections Department spokesman, said preliminary reports indicate John Wayne Leach, 55, took his own life but they cannot confirm that until they are officially notified by the state medical examiner.

Leach was found lying on the floor of his cell with blood around him early Wednesday, according to an incident report. Medical staff detected a faint pulse but were unable to save him.

Leach was serving a life sentence for the 1981 shooting of Trooper Sammy Williamson, 47, of Henryetta, who was shot in the face with a .357 Magnum after he stopped a car near Okemah for having only one operable headlight. Williamson survived the shooting.

Leach, who was 23 at the time of the shooting, was wanted by authorities in three states and pleaded guilty to a charge of shooting with intent to kill after a felony conviction.


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