State agency to probe woman’s death in Tulsa city jail

January 11, 2020 GMT

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations is probing the death of a woman who died while being held in the city’s jail on misdemeanor warrants.

The Tulsa Police Department says 46-year-old Lawanda Ward had been booked into the jail around 7 p.m. on Jan. 2.

The Tulsa World reports that Ward had complained of not feeling well when she was booked, but Tulsa Police Lt. Shane Tuell says paramedics checked and cleared her.

Ward was found unresponsive about 8:30 a.m. on Jan. 6. She was taken to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

The jail inspection division of the Oklahoma State Department of Health, the state Medical Examiner’s Office and the Tulsa Police Department’s homicide unit are also investigating the death.

Tulsa police had initially said Ward had surrendered to the jail. Tuell later said that officers had arrested and booked Ward on the outstanding warrants.