Oklahoma Watches and Warnings

Dismissal of charge against sheriff in inmate death upheld

Garfield County Sheriff Jerry Niles, Jr.

OKLAHOMA CITY –  An Oklahoma county sheriff will not face a manslaughter charge in the death of an inmate who was left in a restraint chair for more than two days.

The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals on Thursday rejected special prosecutor Chris Boring’s request to reinstate the charge against Garfield County Sheriff Jerry Niles, who is on paid leave.

The ruling upholds two previous rulings that there is insufficient evidence that Niles is criminally responsible for the June 2016 death of inmate Anthony Huff.

An autopsy found Huff’s probable cause of death was chronic alcoholism. He had been arrested for public intoxication.

Niles still faces a federal civil rights lawsuit alleging a failure to provide medical care for Huff’s symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, in addition to misdemeanor nepotism charges.

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