Kate Carlton Greer

KGOU News Reporter

Kate Carlton Greer is a general assignment reporter for KGOU. She previously covered Oklahoma's efforts in tornado response and recovery as part of KGOU's "Ahead of the Storm: The Oklahoma Tornado Project." Kate also served as the Community Calendar Producer from January to August in 2013. She grew up in Flower Mound, Texas, and studied broadcasting and electronic media at the University of Oklahoma. 

Ways to Connect

State Rep. Mike Christian, R-Oklahoma City, (left) on the floor of the Oklahoma House, March 2, 2015.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

A State Representative called for the resignation of Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel Tuesday. House Public Safety Committee Chair Mike Christian, R-Oklahoma City, said during a press conference he was concerned about the management of the jail.   

Over the weekend, two inmates died in their cells and a third inmate escaped the facility. 

“If this happened at DOC [Department of Corrections], I can tell you right now as Chair of Public Safety, we would ask for his head,” Christian said.

ACLU of Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel speaks at the Capitol on May 20, 2016 about the grand jury's findings on the state's execution protocol
Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

Oklahoma’s top officials say they’re taking time to thoroughly read a scathing 106-page report released Thursday criticizing Oklahoma’s execution protocols.

Gov. Mary Fallin and Department of Corrections Interim Director Joe Allbaugh both released statements acknowledging the 12-member panel of the multicounty grand jury and the process of reviewing capital punishment procedures.

“It is imperative that Oklahoma be able to manage the execution process properly,” Fallin said in a statement Thursday.

The execution chamber at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester
Oklahoma Department of Corrections

A multicounty grand jury released findings regarding Oklahoma’s execution procedures Thursday.

Oklahoma State Capitol
ensign_beedrill / Flickr Creative Commons

A group of lawmakers met at the State Capitol Tuesday to talk about withholding the state budget allocation for the Department of Corrections. The move comes after the agency opted last week to shutter more than a dozen work centers and relocate inmates to a prison in Granite. 

mikecogh /

Oklahoma’s Board of Corrections unanimously approved leasing a private prison in Sayre and consolidating 15 work release centers across the state Thursday, a decision that left many legislators scrambling and upset.

Under the five-year contract, the Department of Correction would transfer roughly 1200 inmates from the Oklahoma State Reformatory in Granite to North Fork Correctional Facility in Sayre. Inmates in work release programs across the state would be relocated to Granite.

Robert Bates arrives for his arraignment at the Tulsa County courthouse on April 21, 2015.
Sue Ogrocki / Associated Press

It took a jury about three hours Wednesday to find former Tulsa County reserve sheriff’s deputy Robert Bates guilty of second-degree manslaughter in the shooting death of an unarmed suspect last year.

Gov. Mary Fallin signs into law bills part of a criminal justice reform package
Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

Governor Mary Fallin signed into law four criminal justice reform bills Wednesday. Each bill is aimed at scaling back Oklahoma’s sentencing practices.

The legislation comes as a result of Fallin’s Oklahoma Justice Reform Committee that met during the fall of 2015.

Department of Corrections Interim Director Joe Allbaugh
Oklahoma Watch

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections’ Interim Director spoke to a crowded café in Oklahoma City Tuesday night. Joe Allbaugh addressed challenges in the prison system’s record keeping, inmate population and budget strains. 

Allbaugh praised the legislature for allocating nearly $28 million from the state’s Rainy Day Fund to the Department of Corrections, but he said the agency is still set to see a multi-million dollar deficit by the end of the fiscal year.

Cassie Cramer works with 8-month-old Mastiff mix Kingston on April 15, 2016
Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

Cassie Cramer takes a break from walking the prison yard at Oklahoma’s Mabel Bassett Correctional Center. She’s training an 8-month-old Mastiff mix named Kingston. Cramer pulls treats out of her pocket and encourages the puppy to show off.

“Down. Good girl! Bang,” Cramer told the dog. “This is her new trick: you shoot her and she'll fall over. She's so smart!”

Pups In Prison 

Survivor Tree, Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

The bomb that destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City killed 168 people - including 19 children. It injured hundreds more, and forever shaped the community.

April 19, 1995 started as an idyllic spring morning - clear skies, calm winds - better than most Wednesdays during the state’s usually-turbulent severe weather season. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Workers showed up to their jobs, and went about their regular routines.

That all changed at 9:02 a.m.

A multicounty grand jury indicted Wagoner County Sheriff Robert Steven Colbert and Deputy Jeffrey T. Gragg on felony charges Thursday. Attorney General Scott Pruitt announced the panel also asked for the “immediate suspension” of Colbert. 

Members of the Fifteenth Multicounty Grand Jury allege Colbert and Gragg committed three felonies: conspiring to receive a bribe or extort by using threats, receiving a bribe or extortion using threats, and extortion induced by threats.

Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry during a FEMA press conference in Oklahoma City following a December 2007 ice storm.
Earl Armstrong / Federal Emergency Management Agency

A dozen Oklahoma attorneys and business leaders are donating their time to independently review Oklahoma’s capital punishment practices. Former Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry is co-chairing the Oklahoma Death Penalty Review Commission.

“Oklahoma has an opportunity to lead the nation by being the first state to conduct extensive research on its entire death penalty process, beginning with an arrest that could lead to an execution,” Henry said in a press release.

Wesley Fryer / Flickr

Oklahoma’s three privately-operated prisons house roughly one-third of the state’s imprisoned population and cost the Department of Corrections more than $92 million last year. But a recently released video offers a glimpse into a series of violent disturbances at one facility.


The video, from what appears to be a contraband cell phone, shows a group of inmates throwing another prisoner over a balcony onto the floor below.

Wesley Fryer / Flickr

Oklahoma lawmakers and Gov. Mary Fallin have made a number of significant changes in Oklahoma’s criminal justice system over the past few weeks.

Fallin issued an executive order to all state agencies to ban the box on job applications that asks about a criminal history. State representatives passed a number of reform bills on the House floor, and they’ve now moved to the Senate.

The Oklahoma House of representatives voted Thursday to remove license requirements for individuals wishing to carry firearms openly. 

Rep. Jeff Coody, R-Grandfield, authored the House Bill 3098, which prevents felons from carrying guns. Coody called the Second Amendment the most important amendment in the Bill of Rights.

House members considered and debated the bill for nearly two hours Thursday.