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Friday, June 14, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Guards Responsible for Murder, Woman Says

(CN) - A woman claims her brother was beaten to death in an Oklahoma prison as part of a "gladiator system" run by prison guards. She claims guards knowingly put her brother in a cell with a man he had testified against at a murder trial, and the man beat him to death "within minutes."

Kandace Duran sued the warden, two deputy wardens and two guards at the Oklahoma State Prison in Oklahoma City Federal Court.

She claims her brother, Paul Duran Jr., was beaten to death in his cell in March as part of an "unofficial gladiator system" that guards use to discipline inmates.

Her brother was 16 when he participated in a home-invasion robbery with two other men, Warren Alan Plank (also a minor), and Jesse James Dalton, 25, according to the complaint. The homeowner, Billy Wayne Ray, was shot and killed.

Paul Duran testified at trial that Dalton was the gunman, his sister says.

Duran received a 28-year prison sentence, and Dalton was convicted of murder and sentenced to life without parole, according to the complaint.

In March, Duran was accused of violating prison policies, which precipitated an argument with defendant prison guard Darrell Wilson, the complaint states.

During the argument, Wilson allegedly told Duran, "I got somebody for you."

Duran told other inmates he feared for his life, and submitted a request to the prison staff that he not be placed near Dalton, but the defendant failed to respond, the complaint states.

Kandace Duran says the defendants knew that Duran and Dalton needed to be kept apart because to the history of their case.

But the prison put her brother in Duran's cell, and "Dalton beat Duran to death within minutes," she says.

Kandace Duran seeks actual damages, exemplary damages and court costs on constitutional claims.

She is represented by Scott Graham with Graham, Allen & Brown of Tulsa.

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