OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The former Oklahoma County jail guards accused of torturing inmates with the children’s song, “Baby Shark” have been sentenced to probation and fines after pleading no contest to several of the charges.
In 2020, former detention officers Christian Miles and Gregory Butler, and their supervisor, Christopher Hendershott, were charged with four counts of cruelty to prisoners, four counts of corporal punishment to an inmate, and four counts of conspiracy.
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Prosecutors said that in 2019, Miles and Butler pulled at least five inmates out of their cells one at a time late at night to be handcuffed, forced them into a “standing stress position,” and played “Baby Shark” on repeat at a loud volume for hours on end.
Court documents state Miles and Butler used the booth to discipline inmates “and teach them a lesson because they felt that disciplinary action within the Detention Center was not working in correcting the behavior of the inmates.”
The documents also state Miles told investigators that “the inmates often ‘pissed off’ Butler,” and that those inmates were more likely to be mistreated by the jail guards.
Miles and Butler were each fined $200 and must pay $300 in victims’ compensation. They were also placed on probation for two years, banned from working in law enforcement, and must complete 40 hours of community service.
Their supervisor, Hendershott, allegedly learned about the mistreatment but did nothing to help the inmates or discipline the officers.
Court records do not indicate a plea or sentence for Hendershott.
A federal lawsuit was filed in 2021 by some of the impacted inmates against the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office, the Oklahoma County Criminal Justice Authority, the former detention officers, and the Board of County Commissioners.
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One of those plaintiffs was re-arrested in 2022 and died in custody. The medical examiner determined he died from an accidental fentanyl overdose.