Former jail administrator sentenced to 55 hours for inmate’s death

ENID, Okla. – A former Garfield County jail administrator was sentenced to less than three days in jail after pleading guilty to second-degree manslaughter in connection with an inmate’s death.

On Tuesday, Jennifer Shay Niles was sentenced to 55 hours in jail after pleading second-degree manslaughter for the 2016 death of 58-year-old Anthony Huff.

Officials say Huff was arrested on June 4, 2016 for public intoxication and was held at the Garfield County Jail. Investigators say Huff was placed in a restraint chair on June 6, and was found unresponsive in the chair on June 8. Later that day, he was pronounced dead.

Anthony Huff

During his time in the chair, Huff was not given “proper amounts of food, water or medical treatment for illnesses he was suffering from,” a release from Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter read.

An autopsy performed June 9, 2016, said Huff died of natural causes, with the probable cause of death being chronic alcoholism due to a compulsive condition from a prior disease.

Garfield County Detention Center

In a federal lawsuit filed in 2017, lawyers allege jail employees were negligent because they should have known about Huff’s medical conditions from previous incarcerations and been aware that he took medications for heart disease, hypertension, depression and other conditions.

Huff started hallucinating and exhibiting delusions at some point during his incarceration and was placed in the restraint chair, the lawsuit says.

Jail personnel didn’t receive a medical recommendation to use the chair, the lawsuit says, and jail employees didn’t check his blood pressure regularly, didn’t give him blood pressure medication and didn’t offer him hydration every two hours.

Niles will serve the 55 hours in the Alfalfa County Jail.

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