ENID, Okla. — Sheriff Jerry Niles and three others were charged Wednesday with felony first-degree manslaughter in the June 2016 death of Anthony Dewayne Huff, who spent more than two days in a restraint chair at Garfield County Detention Facility.
The sheriff also was charged Wednesday with two misdemeanor counts of nepotism, records show. The manslaughter charges are punishable by no less than four years in prison. Each count of nepotism is punishable by a fine of $100 to $1,000 and forfeiture of office.
District 26 District Attorney Christopher Boring, who was appointed last year to investigate Huff's death, also filed manslaughter charges against then-jail administrator Jennifer Shay Niles, jailers John Robert Markus and Shawn Caleb Galusha.
The four charged Wednesday were indicted last summer following the convening of a grand jury. Indictments handed up by the grand jury included the four and two nurses, Vanisa Jo Gay and Lela June Goatley, who were working at the jail at the time of Huff's death. The indictments were unsealed July 25, 2017, and each were charged with a single felony count of second-degree manslaughter, punishable by two to four years in prison, or up to a year in county jail, or a fine of up to $1,000, or both fine and incarceration. The indictments were dismissed in December, when Boring announced his intention to refile criminal charges.
During their initial court appearance last year, charges were dropped against Gay. Charges were not filed Wednesday against Goatley.
The newest charges accuse the four of causing Huff's death on or between June 4 and 8 of 2016, by "unlawfully, willfully, intentionally and feloniously, without a premeditated design to effect death, did cause and effect the death of one Anthony Dewayne Huff while the said defendant was unlawfully engaged in a misdemeanor in a manner and form that follows, to-wit:
"1. The said defendant was an officer having lawful custody and control over Anthony Dewayne Huff, an inmate in the Garfield County Detention Center, and the defendant treated Anthony Dewayne Huff in a cruel and inhumane manner in violation of 57 O.S. Sec. 9, a misdemeanor, by willfully failing, neglecting, and refusing to provide the said Anthony Dewayne Huff necessary and required medical attention and/or by reason of unlawfully confining and restricting the said Anthony Dewayne Huff in a restraint chair without food, water, oversight, and monitoring for a continuous period of time in excess of 55 hours while the victim was experiencing delirium tremens (DT), and as a direct result or substantial factor of the unlawful acts of said defendant as aforesiad, the said Anthony Dewayne Huff did then and there languish and die."
The information on the charge continues "and/or" and is followed by:
"2. That said defendant was an officer having lawful custody and control over Anthony Dewayne Huff, an inmate in the Garfield County Detention Center, and the defendant, in violation of 57 O.S. Sec. 55, a misdemeanor, neglected, failed, and/or refused to comply with the ruled and regulations set forth in the Oklahoma Jail Standards established by the State Department of Health pursuant to Title 57 O.S. Sec. 52 and Title 74 O.S. Sec. 192 by willfully failing, neglecting, and refusing to comply with the policy and procedures with respect to the use and confinement of Anthony Dewayne Huff in a restraint chair for a continuous period in excess of 55 hours and/or failed to provide continual supervision, required visual sight checks, medical and mental health screening, care and treatment as required by the jail standards implemented by the State Department of Health and as a direct result or substantial factor of the unlawful acts of said defendant as aforesaid, the said Anthony Dewayne Huff did then and there languish and die."
The nepotism charges accuse the sheriff of appointing his son Logan Niles and daughter-in-law Jennifer Niles "to a new position and duties of employment with the Garfield County Sheriff's Office and increased the salary, wages, pay or compensation" for them.
No appearance dates are set. An order filed Wednesday states all Garfield County judges have recused from the case and Associated District Judge Ryan D. Reddick, of Beaver County, has been assigned to preside the cases.
Huff was arrested June 4, 2016, on a complaint of public intoxication. On June 6, 2016, he was placed in a restraint chair by jail staff. Two days later, Huff was found unresponsive in the chair and pronounced dead.
Niles said July 26, 2017, that Galusha and Markus were both suspended with pay following the unsealing of the indictments. The following week, Niles told Garfield County commissioners he was placing himself on paid leave. Commissioners voted to accept Niles' suspension.
A federal lawsuit was filed on June 6, 2017, accusing Garfield County officials of negligence in Huff's death and of violating his constitutional rights. The 23-page lawsuit lists Garfield County Detention Center, Garfield County Board of County Commissioners, Sheriff Niles, Jennifer Niles, Turn Key Health Clinics, Goatley and three John Does as defendants in the case.
Source : http://www.enidnews.com/oklahoma/news/niles-others-charged-with-first-degree-manslaughter/article_4562042a-ba62-5347-b8b6-22989a789c7f.html942