Wagoner Co. jailer charged, inmates escape

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Updated: 9/07/2013 6:42 pm Published: 9/06/2013 2:40 pm

A former Wagoner County detention officer was arrested and bonded out of jail Friday.

William "Billie" Hagen, 21, is charged with allowing two inmates to escape the jail on July 29

FOX23 News was there in July when inmates Mickey Staggs and Larry Cotton escaped from the jail using a jailer's key.

"It's bogus, BS," said Nancy Day.

Day, Hagen’s aunt. She said her nephew is not corrupt.

Sheriff Bob Colbert said one of his own broke the law and allowed two inmates to escape from jail.

"He crossed that line,"' said Colbert. "He definitely didn't follow proper procedure because we had two inmates running up and down the street for 15 hours."

After Staggs and Cotton were arrested the probe focused on Hagen.

"It didn't sound right from the very beginning," said Colbert.

In an affidavit, Hagen told investigators Cotton requested him to come to his cell because he was the only jailer with the master key. Hagen admitted he knew it was against policy to go in without a backing officer but said he feared for his life.

"They can't get out the door without a key, they have to have master key to get out this door," said Colbert.

Colbert said the locks are changed in different direction and only jailers and employees know which way to turn the key.

He said the video surveillance showed the inmates did it in one try.

"Someone knew that day, which way to turn the key," said Colbert.

What is not visible on video is when Hagen said he was beaten by the inmates. The report states Hagen told them when he went to Cotton's toilet he put him in a choke hold and took his key.
Colbert said Hagen did not have physical signs of an attack.

"They sent him to the hospital. He had whiplash, bruises. If that is not being assaulted by the inmates, what is?" said Day.

Staggs' family told FOX23 News the plan was to have Hagen leave a truck and keys with it on the back side of the jail.

However, the family said Hagen didn't do it because he didn't get all of the money.

The sheriff confirmed there was a plan for someone to leave a car.

"There was no car but there was a key and two upset escapees that there was no car," said Colbert.

Day believes the inmates are lying.

"They said they gave Billie $2,000. He never had any extra money. He would have never done it for a million dollars, that is how much the job meant to him," said Day.

Since the escape, Colbert said he has increased the jailers from two on duty to five. He also changed the locks and only the supervisor is allowed to have a master key.

Colbert said the jail is getting overcrowded. Currently there are on average 110 inmates. Legally maximum population is 152 but he would rather have 75 to 80 inmates.

Staggs is currently being held in the Wagoner County jail awaiting escape charges and original charges for having a gun as a felon, stolen vehicle.

Cotton is being held at Oklahoma State Prison in McAlester while he awaits on his escape charge and also his original charge for having a gun as a felon, endangering others while attempting to elude police, stolen vehicle and other traffic charges.

Hagen was released from jail Friday night on $5,000 bond. Colbert said Hagen was on paid leave during the investigation and was fired on Friday. He was with the Sheriff's Office for 14 months.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

Unwashed Mass - 9/7/2013 10:13 AM
1 Vote
Wasnt making enough money smuggling cell phones? Cameras, cameras, cameras.

karlschneider - 9/6/2013 5:07 PM
1 Vote
A classic example of "inside job". It just took a few weeks to prove it.
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