Present OK Co. Detention Heart inmate claims mattress bugs consuming him alive, calling complete facility negligent

Present OK Co. Detention Heart inmate claims mattress bugs consuming him alive, calling complete facility negligent

OKLAHOMA COUNTY, Oklahoma (KFOR) — A current inmate at the Oklahoma County Detention Center has now been behind bars for a total of 21 days but says he has had alarming medical problems linked to bed bug bites since the second day.

Jason Sheffield, 45, was taken to the pre-trial detention center on November 10 on a charge of aggravated trafficking in illegal drugs.

According to an incident report, Sheffield was arrested by the Oklahoma City PD Street Narcotics Unit near Santa Fe with three large plastic bags in the trunk of his vehicle.

The plastic bags, which contained a white crystal substance, tested positive for methamphetamine and weighed approximately 4.5 pounds.

Booking photo of Jason Sheffield on November 10th. Photo courtesy of the Oklahoma County Detention Center. LOCAL NEWS: Representative files bill to prevent gender-affirming care for Oklahomans under 21

Sheffield has been in contact with his girlfriend Darlene Kaup since his incarceration.

They spoke to each other over the phone and through an authorized video chat.

The two spoke over the phone earlier this week, in which Sheffield said he understands why he is behind bars and accepts full responsibility for his crime.

However, he doesn’t think his imprisonment makes him any less of a human being.

“We are treated as if we are no longer human. Our civil and human rights are being violated in this place,” Sheffield said.

On November 11, Sheffield said he woke up in his cell with “really bad hives” and “lesions” all over his left arm and elbow.

A video chat call between Jason Sheffield and Darlene Kaup showing the bumps and skin discoloration. Photo courtesy of Darlene Kaup.

Sheffield claims his health has only deteriorated since the second day.

He said the hives traveled to his right arm, covering his fingers and extending to his neck.

Sheffield described his skin condition as “half a dollar sized intact lesions” and said each one was so painful he couldn’t touch the skin around them.

He also said that his hands and wrist could not function normally because of it.

“So I dialed the medical emergency number [the phone in his cell]. It took them about an hour to an hour and 45 minutes to get me,” Sheffield said.

News 4 requested medical records from Sheffield Detention Center.

Sheffield signed a HIPPA release form and the medical records were in our inbox on November 22nd.

Sheffield said Oklahoma County Detention Center Superintendent Greg Williams pulled him into his office to have him sign the release form, but he didn’t do so without an argument.

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According to Sheffield, Williams questioned why News 4 requested a HIPPA release form and was confrontational towards him.

Finally, Sheffield said Williams allowed him to sign it.

In the few days after Sheffield signed the form, he said he had not received his medication.

Oklahoma County Detention Center communications director Mark Opgrande told News 4 in a statement, “The staff have been attentive to their needs and are committed to providing the best care.”

According to Sheffield’s medical records, he was treated several times between November 10 and 22.

Sheffield is said to have expressed concern about a rash, swelling or numbness on his body at least six times during that period.

His medical records showing medical staff could see a rash on Sheffield’s body.

Records also show that he was given medication each time.

However, Kaup told KFOR, she saw at every doctor’s visit that he was getting worse and worse.

Kaup said he wouldn’t be doing any better unless the problem was fixed: bed bugs in his cell.

“He was bitten from head to toe. And then it turned into kind of an allergic reaction and started getting blisters and bumps all over my body,” she explained.

Kaup explained the year she and Sheffield dated that she had never seen him have an allergic reaction.

Sheffield also reported no known allergies to the detention center’s medical staff, according to records.

Kaup added she had called the detention center several times asking for a health check, but had never received any news, despite being listed as Sheffield’s emergency contact.

However, she is afraid to keep calling the detention center, fearing it will make life harder for Sheffield.

“Very, very stressful. I’m very worried about him and the way he tells me they treat him, or should I say don’t treat him. I’m very afraid for his life,” said Kaup.

Opgrande said the remand prison inspected Sheffield’s cell, which found no bed bugs.

However, the remand prison claims they spray-sprayed Sheffield’s cell just in case.

The detention center reports spending $26,000 on prevention and treatment so far from July through December.

The detention center is 13 stories high and has about 1,200 cells.

“The facility has been sprayed from top to bottom for the last two and a half years,” Opgrande said.

However, over those two and a half years, News 4 has spoken to former inmates who have shared their experiences with bed bugs.

One even went so far as to send his girlfriend an envelope full of bed bugs in November 2021.

Both Sheffield and Kaup have stressed that 15 inmates have died at the detention center this year, so they worry he will be number 16.

“I don’t want to die in here,” Sheffield said.

Sheffield hopes medical staff will be held accountable for their negligence and the prison will be held accountable for mistreatment.

“That needs to be revealed. That’s why we’re doing this,” Sheffield said.

Opgrande told KFOR the detention center will continue to monitor Sheffield’s situation.

Kaup is now considering taking legal action.

Sheffield’s bond was priced at $100,000.

His preliminary hearing will take place on December 20 at 9 a.m

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