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Oklahoma Guard Killed

On June 6, 2000, Joe Gamble, 29, a prison guard at the Oklahoma State Reformatory in Granite, Oklahoma, died from stab wounds allegedly inflicted by prisoner Dorhee McKissick. The stabbing occurred on June 5 when Gamble saw another guard, William Callaway, being attacked by McKissick. Gamble intervened and McKissick stabbed him repeatedly in the neck. After eluding McKissick, Gamble was taken to a local hospital where he died after surgery to repair the arteries in his neck. "He never regained consciousness after the surgery," said Sherri Gamble, his widow.

Callaway, 35, was stabbed 13 times by McKissick and was listed in stable condition by a Lawton hospital. McKissick, 24, was serving a ten-year sentence for throwing bodily fluids on a county jail guard.

After the stabbing McKissick retreated to a dayroom. The prison's emergency response team was called in and after four hours McKissick surrendered. Two makeshift knives were recovered and a 12 to 14-inch piece of sharpened steel was tagged as the murder weapon. McKissick was transferred to the maximum security prison in McAlester after the stabbing.

In the aftermath of the stabbings, 30 prison guards assembled on June 28, 2000, at the state capitol in Oklahoma City to ask governor Frank Keating to call a special legislative session to consider safety equipment and higher pay for prison guards. The guards were seeking stab proof vests, batons, pepper spray and higher wages, not necessarily in that order.

Gary Jones, chief of the Oklahoma Public Employees Association, said Keating refused to convene a special legislative session because it would invite to many other possible topics.

When a prison guard was stabbed to death in New Jersey, guards in that state threatened to walk out of the state's prisons unless they were provided with stab resistant vests. Within a matter of hours governor Christine Whitman capitulated and provided the vests at a cost of several million. See: PLN, Dec. 1999. Apparently not all guards union's are equals.

Sources: Holdenville (OK) Daily News. Dallas Morning New

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