U.S. Justice Department says Oklahoma County detention center violated inmate rights

By Nolan Clay and John Estus Published: August 13, 2008
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A federal grand jury is set to hear testimony Sept. 9 over the death of an Oklahoma County inmate who went into a coma shortly after struggling with guards.

At least one witness has been subpoenaed to testify that day, records show. The witness was told "you will be asked to testify and answer questions concerning possible violations of federal criminal law.” Testimony is not open to the public.

Christopher Beckman, 34, of Choctaw died May 28, 2007, two days after the jail struggle. The struggle began after he reportedly had seizures in his cell.

Death called homicide
An autopsy found Beckman died from blunt force head trauma severe enough to cause brain swelling.

The medical examiner wrote, "After extensive investigation, no consistent and reasonable explanation for the decedent's injuries has been proposed. ... The manner of death is considered homicide.”

The FBI and Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation have been investigating. The grand jury's involvement means indictments are possible. Christopher Beckman autopsy report

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