Jailer William 'Billy' Hagen Jr. arrested in connection with Wagoner County inmates' escape in July

WAGONER, Okla. - The Wagoner County Sheriff's Office has arrested jailer William "Billy" Hagen, Jr. in connection with the inmates who escaped from the Wagoner County Jail in late July.

Hagen, 21, was taken into custody Friday afternoon at his Wagoner home.

Larry Cotton Jr. and Mickey Staggs escaped on July 29. Both men were apprehended the following day.

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According to the sheriff's office, Hagen's recount of the events during the escape "was of concern at the time" and his written statement following the escape ultimately led to his arrest.

In his statement, Hagen was called into the cell of Cotton, inside a block housing Wagoner County violent offenders, according to a court affidavit. Hagen then found the inmate dressed in his "whites" and asking for Hagen to inspect his cell toilet.

Hagen was afraid for his life, according to his written testimony, and knew he was not supposed to enter into a cell without backup, but proceeded to anyway.

Once inside the cell, Cotton grabbed the officer, putting him in a choke hold as Staggs took his keys and radio. 

"It is a sad day when you have to arrest one of your own, but he had to total disregard for the employees of this courthouse and the citizens of Wagoner and Wagoner County," Wagoner County Sheriff Bob Colbert said of the arrest.

Hagen, who was placed on paid suspension after the incident, was fired Friday in addition to his arrest.

Hagen is being held on a $25,000 bond on a felony permitting escape charge.

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