OK Sheriff Charged With Manslaughter in Inmate’s Death

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The sheriff and five jail employees in Garfield County, Oklahoma, have been indicted for second-degree manslaughter for causing the death of inmate Anthony Huff, who died last year after he was left restrained in a chair for more than 48 hours without adequate food or water, reports NewsOK. A state grand jury indicted Sheriff Jerry Niles, 59, along with a nurse, a nurse practioner, two jail administrators and a detention officer. The sheriff, first elected in 2012, pleaded not guilty Tuesday in his first court appearance and was led from the courthouse in handcuffs. Bail was set at $5,000. The maximum punishment for second-degree manslaughter is four years in prison and a $1,000 fine.

The grand jury did not seek Niles’ ouster so he remains in control of the sheriff’s office and the jail for now, despite the indictment. Huff, 58, of Enid, Okla., was pronounced dead at the jail on June 8, 2016, after being found unresponsive in the restraint chair. He had been jailed four days earlier on a public intoxication complaint, officials said. He was placed in the restraint chair on June 6 after he began hallucinating.

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