|Updated: 6/08/2013 2:29 pm
||Published: 6/07/2013 12:12 am
FOX23 has learned a jailer accused of beating an inmate has turned himself in.
Deputies say 32-year-old James Keener stepped out of line when confronting an inmate over Memorial Day weekend.
"The inmate wasn't being aggressive," said Cherokee County Undersheriff Jason Chennault.
FOX23 obtained video that captured the argument that led to the inmate, Justin Yandell, ending up in the hospital.
A 19-page investigative report said the argument started when Keener confronted Yandell about stealing calling cards from other inmates. When Yandell walked away, Keener followed and bear-hugged the inmate before body-slamming him, according to the report.
Administrators told FOX23 as soon as they read the report they pulled the video and then called the Sheriff's Office.
"We determined from interviewing other detention center officers the detention officer himself might have provoked the fight," said Chennault.
He said Keener was fired Monday. The District Attorney's Office filed misdemeanor assault and battery against Keener on Tuesday. Chennault said Yandell suffered minor head injuries and was sent to the Tahlequah City Hospital that night to be checked out.
"He skipped some steps. He shouldn't have never went hands on with him. The inmate wasn't being aggressive," Chennault said. "People in jail are still people. Just because they're in jail, they're incarcerated, doesn't mean we can treat them like this."
Deputies tell FOX23 Keener turned himself in around midnight Wednesday.
Some jailers told FOX23's Dontaye Carter that Keener served 10 years in the Armed Forces and believe he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.
If convicted, Keener could spend less than a year in jail.
The U.S. Attorney's office in Muskogee has requested to look at the investigation. Keener could face additional charges there.