Charge dismissed against former correctional officer

Jan. 18—A former Oklahoma State Penitentiary correctional officer charged for the alleged assault of a restrained inmate had his charge dismissed more than a week before a scheduled trial was set to begin.

Court records show William Graham, 37, of McAlester, was originally charged August 2022 with aggravated assault and battery, offering false evidence, and obstructing an officer.

Those charges were later dismissed after a Pittsburg County judge granted a motion to quash after the inmate testified he slipped out of his handcuffs to stab another inmate prior to the alleged assault.

Prosecutors were allowed to recharge Graham with a misdemeanor count of assault and battery filed in September 2023.

A trial was scheduled to begin Jan. 18. A Jan. 12 court minute show prosecutors moved to dismiss the charge "without prejudice with the intent to refile" that was granted by Pittsburg County Special Judge Mindy Beare.

Graham was accused of using "unnecessary or excessive force" on June 16, 2022, by striking an inmate who was restrained with his arms behind his back and in leg shackles while escorting the inmate to OSP's medical unit.

Three other correctional officers were also charged in relation to the incident.

Michael Boswell, 28, and Dylan Aragon, 29, both of McAlester were charged along with Richard Holloway, 32, of Krebs for obstructing an officer, according to documents filed Monday in Pittsburg County District Court. All three men are serving an 18-month deferred sentence for the charge after accepting plea agreements.

A probable cause affidavit filed in the case sates on June 24, 2022, the inmate reported to prison officials that he was "physically beaten" by Lt. William Graham while he was being escorted to the medical unit for an evaluation following an altercation with another inmate.

Investigators wrote in the report that during an initial June 29, 2022, interview with Sgt. Michael Boswell, Boswell denied all allegations and said that Graham was not even present when the inmate was being escorted to the medical wing.

Graham denied all allegations during his initial interview, the report states.

Video from the medical unit hallway was obtained by investigators which shows Graham directly under the ceiling camera "appearing to strike or hit someone off camera view approximately three times" with Graham looking towards the incident before Dylan Aragon and Boswell were observed escorting the inmate down the hall with Holloway following behind, the affidavit states.

Investigators wrote in the report Holloway was seen on the video "looking up at the camera, walking off camera view" and exiting the medical unit.

Graham also denied in a second interview with ODOC investigators that he was untruthful or withheld information during his first interview and after being shown the video, admitted that "it looked like he was striking" the inmate "but claimed he did not remember doing so," the affidavit states.

A review of Graham's incident report by investigators showed no information pertaining to striking of the inmate, the report states.