Two former inmates settle in jailhouse brawl

Friday, May 12th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- Two former Tulsa County Jail inmates will each receive $20,000 in a federal settlement tied to a jailhouse brawl.

Elliott Jason Duncan Jr. and Ra Earl Hall Smith are currently serving time in the state prison system. Their lawyers say the two will receive the money upon their releases.

Tulsa County Assistant District Attorney Gordon Edwards confirmed Thursday that an agreement had been reached and said a formal settlement should be filed within two weeks. He said the county admits no wrongdoing in the Aug. 10, 1998, fight.

Duncan, who is of mixed racial descent, filed the civil rights lawsuit last year, alleging that he was "injured and attacked" when he and three black men were moved into a cell holding white inmates.

In a separate complaint, Smith said he received a broken nose, a hemorrhaged eye, head lacerations and contusions when jailers placed the four nonwhite inmates in the jail's all-white "Aryan tank." He also alleged jail employees assaulted him after they removed him from the cell.

U.S. District Judge Sven Erik Holmes consolidated the two cases into one earlier this year.

The fight led to the suspensions of nine Tulsa County Sheriff's Office employees. The FBI investigated the brawl and submitted a report to the U.S. Department of Justice.