Evidence Clears Wagoner Officers In Suspect Death, D.A. Finds
WAGONER COUNTY, Oklahoma - Wagoner County District Attorney Jack Thorp said after the investigation into an in-custody death involving two Wagoner County Sheriff's Deputies, he will not be filing any charges against the deputies involved.
The investigation took place after Jeffrey Krueger of Texas died during an encounter with Deputies Nick Orr and Kaleb Phillips on July 1, 2019.
The medical examiner's report, body camera footage and witness reports all show the deputies used justified and non-deadly force in their encounter with Krueger, the D.A. said.
In a letter to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, Thorp states Deputy Phillips initially pulled Krueger over near Highways 51 and 69 for driving erratically. Krueger refused to get out of the car or show the deputy his empty hands, the D.A.'s report states.
Orr got to the scene to back up Phillips, and Thorp states Krueger showed "superhuman" strength as he fought both deputies in a "significant physical struggle."
Although both deputies used stun guns on Krueger, the attempts were "completely ineffective," Thorp said. The suspect was even able to grab one of the stun guns, but Deputy Orr punched him in the jaw and got it back. The deputies were able eventually to get one handcuff on Krueger, and a medic who arrived on scene helped them get the second cuff on the suspect.
"It is very difficult," said Undersheriff Todd Riggs of the Wagoner County Sheriff's Office. "It's like they've got the strength of 10 men."
A short time later, they found Krueger had stopped breathing, the report states. Thorp said shortly after getting to the emergency room, Krueger died.
Despite the fight, "there is no evidence that Krueger died as a result of an injury inflicted by either Deputy Phillips or Orr," Thorp tells the OSBI. The medical examiner's report states Krueger had a significant cut on his face and multiple abrasions, but no injury that could be considered life threatening.
They are still awaiting toxicology results on the deceased man.
"The preliminary finding, absent toxicology results, is that Krueger died as the result of excited delirium," he said.
"It's very tough when you are fighting for your life. It's unfortunate that anyone at anytime loses their life, but yes - we are thankful that the deputies are OK," said Undersheriff Todd Riggs, WCSO.
Wagoner County Sheriff's Office doesn't own body cameras as yet, but they were testing a demonstration model the night Krueger died.
"We are trying to obtain money through a grant to where we can purchase body cams for all of our deputies," Undersheriff Riggs said.