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Former Oklahoma guards accused of abuse in prisoner death

OKLAHOMA CITY – Two former security guards for Oklahoma County have been charged with assault following an investigation into the death of a prisoner who was repeatedly shot by pepper balls.

Colton Ray, 26, and Brian Harrison, 33, were charged Thursday with felony assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, The Oklahoman reported. Both have been charged in connection with the April 19 death of the 40-year-old Charlton Chrisman.

The strife began after Chrisman flooded his cell, when he tore a sprinkler. He was removed from his cell after a piece of metal was spotted in.

“Shortly after arrival, Chrisman, the cell door was opened and Ray and Harrison immediately shot Chrisman with the pepper ball guns,” the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation reported.

The officers continued shooting the victim as he attempted to go to the hall, according to the affidavit.

An autopsy report shows Chrisman died of “agitated delirium due to acute methamphetamine intoxication.” The report says that there are 14 to 16 circular bruises on the body in accordance with a pepper ball gun injuries. The victim also had multiple abrasions and contusions on his forehead, cheeks, nose, arms, legs and back, according to the autopsy report. It notes that the “multiple pepper ball injuries” as a factor in the death.

Court records say that Ray and Harrison told authorities they shot Chrisman in the neighborhood.

Court records show Chrisman was arrested the day before after crashing his vehicle in the emergency room waiting area of an Oklahoma City hospital. He had a history of drug use and mental problems, records show.

Chrisman’s estate has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit last week against the county, Ray, Harrison, Sheriff of P. D. Taylor and others.

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Information from: The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com

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