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Posted on: February 6, 2024

DEPUTY, DETENTION STAFF EARN MERIT AWARDS FOR LIFE-SAVING EFFORTS

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[NORMAN, Okla.] — A Cleveland County deputy, along with two detention officers and a Turn Key Health EMT, have earned Meritorious Service Awards for their heroic efforts in saving the life of a convicted rapist. 

On Thursday, a Cleveland County jury convicted 62-year-old Timothy Lee Carson on two counts of Sexual Battery and one count of Rape by Instrumentation. Carson’s conviction is related to the sexual assault of clients at his massage parlor in Moore, Okla. Following the trial, he was promptly remanded into custody, where, during transport, he attempted suicide.

Around 5 p.m. on Thursday, Carson was transported from the Cleveland County Courthouse to the Cleveland County Detention Center (CCDC). Prior to the transport, Carson was searched and relieved of all personal belongings. He was then handcuffed and placed in a county van. Upon reaching CCDC, Deputy Mark Reynolds, attempted to take Carson out of the transport unit. After opening the door, Reynolds discovered Carson unresponsive, with his necktie fastened to the interior door’s grate and his right hand gripping the other end of the tie.

Reynolds immediately took action to release the tie from Carson’s neck. Detention Officers Montel Williams and Colton Standridge, who were stationed in the vicinity of the sally port, promptly rushed to support Reynolds. Working together, they successfully freed Carson and extricated him from the vehicle. Simultaneously, Turn Key Health EMT Kayley French arrived and initiated CPR. Within minutes, Carson was breathing normally and alert.

“They did everything right,” said Chief of Detention Cary Bryant. “Each of them acted swiftly and with precision, acting as a team to help this inmate. This incident exemplifies the kind of response we aim for. I think it’s also important to acknowledge that this success was possible because the Sheriff had the foresight to secure the necessary funds we needed for medical and mental health enhancements here at the detention center. Without that funding, the immediate availability of medical staff might not have been possible.”

After the incident, Carson was transported to a Norman hospital where he stayed for a 24-hour observation period. He was returned to CCDC on Friday, where he is currently on suicide watch in the detention center’s medical holding unit. He will return to court for formal sentencing on March 13.

Deputy Reynolds, D.O. Williams, D.O. Standridge, and EMT French will receive their Meritorious Service Awards in a formal ceremony on Monday.

Cleveland County Sheriff Chris Amason said he is extremely proud of this coordinated effort and his team’s commitment to serving with courage and empathy.

“Though it might be challenging to acknowledge, the truth is that justice and compassion go hand-in-hand,” Amason said. “Despite Mr. Carson’s conviction for heinous crimes, the imperative remains to ensure his care and guarantee his safety. I commend my deputies, detention officers, and medical staff for their swift and decisive actions to preserve his life. Their efforts deserve recognition.”

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