Serial Killer sits in county jail waiting for transfer

Serial killer’s letter highlights Oklahoma’s county jail backlog problem
A letter from a man described as a serial killer to the Cleveland County judge who sentenced him to life in prison last fall illustrates the state’s ongoing battle with what prison officials call county jail backlog.
By Andrew Knittle

Billy Dean Battenfield was convicted of his fourth murder in September after he pleaded guilty to the brutal slaying of Clair Owen Pollard, a retired social worker who originally lived in Maine.
Battenfield also was convicted of three murders in Texas and New Mexico in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
The convict, who was described by a former FBI profiler as “serial killer,” had already spent more than half his life behind bars when he killed Pollard in late November 2011.
Cleveland County Judge Steve Stice sentenced Battenfield to life in prison — without the possibility of parole — in September.
The letter from Battenfield to Stice, dated Dec. 17, is seeking information about why the convict has yet to be transferred to a state prison.
“To this date, I am still waiting for the district attorney and the court clerk’s office to certify my judgment and sentence in order for the sheriff to transport me,” the inmate wrote.
Battenfield does not complain about the county jail or list any grievances in the one-page, handwritten letter.
Stice, who responded in a letter dated the following day, issued a simple response. But despite its brevity, the letter points to overcrowding in the state’s prisons as the reason for Battenfield’s perceived lengthy stay at the Cleveland County jail.
“I investigated your concern,” the judge wrote. “Your (judgment and sentence) has been prepared, signed and certified for some time.
“Your transport to DOC will happen as soon as space in DOC is available.”
Both letters are part of the case file available on the Oklahoma State Court Network website.

Before Pollard’s murder, Battenfield only had been out of jail for between five and seven months. Before that, he was in prisons in New Mexico and Texas for 30 years.

The article goes on to describe the problem of inmates staying in the county jail long after they should have been transferred. It explains the problem with what it costs the jails and how long it takes to get payment. That is a problem no doubt.

What bothers me even more though is that there is no way that a local county jail is as secure as a state prison. How secure is his cell? Has an escape risk assessment been done? Escapes from jails are not uncommon and it is disturbing to think that there is a serial killer just sitting in one due to overcrowding.
If the cost is an issue I am thinking that there is not extra security for this 1 prisoner.

Billy Dean Battenfield

Leads me to wonder if this is common throughout the United States.

  1. That is not a face I want to see on the nightly news as an escaped inmate!

  2. He has a face only Tarrantino would love 😯

  3. I thought Texas executed for all murders. Why is he not where he’s supposed to be…….. six feet under .

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