A Muskogee County Jail inmate was sentenced Thursday after being charged with one count of conspiracy in the orchestrated beating of a fellow inmate at the behest of a jailer on duty.
Phillip Oliver, 46, was sentenced in U.S. District Court to one year and a day, followed by one year of supervised release, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced.
"Excessive force by individuals sworn to uphold the law will not be tolerated," Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, said in a statement. "The Justice Department will continue to investigate and prosecute criminal civil rights violations whether committed directly by the hands of law enforcement or by inmates at the behest of law enforcement."
Oliver pleaded guilty earlier this year, and in doing so, admitted that on Oct. 6, 2011, he conspired with a jailer on duty to violate the civil rights of a fellow inmate by assault, prosecutors said.
Oliver and the jailer agreed to use physical violence to punish the victim because the victim, who was restrained in a separate cell, was making verbal comments, the release said.
According to court documents, although Oliver was concerned about getting into trouble if he assaulted the victim, the jailer assured Oliver that he would cover for Oliver. Then the jailer remotely popped open the victim's locked cell door so that Oliver could gain access. Oliver then punched the victim in the face, all at a time when the victim was not posing a threat to anyone, prosecutors said.