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Garfield County Sheriff Among Six Indicted by Multicounty Grand Jury for Death of Inmate

Garfield County Sheriff Among Six Indicted by Multicounty Grand Jury for Death of Inmate

ENID – Garfield County Judge Paul Woodward unsealed indictments today issued by the state’s multicounty grand jury revealing the names of six individuals charged in the death of Anthony Huff, who died at the Garfield County Jail in June 2016.

Grand jurors have met and received evidence on this case since March. Last week jurors handed up second degree manslaughter charges on the following individuals, who worked at the jail:

The indictments allege the officials were responsible for the mistreatment of Huff, directly resulting in his death.

According to court documents, Huff was pronounced dead at the jail on June 8, 2016, after he was found unresponsive in a restraint chair. The documents say he was placed in the chair for an extended period of time without proper amounts of food, water or medical treatment for illnesses he was suffering from.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation assisted in the apprehension of the six individuals. 

Attorney General Mike Hunter thanked the grand jurors for their work in the case and said the state will continue to rely on the multicounty grand jury in criminal proceedings.

“I commend the grand jurors, attorneys and agents for their work on this case, leading to the indictments,” Attorney General Hunter said. “The state’s multicounty grand jury is an invaluable resource the state depends on to assist law enforcement and prosecutors.”

The case will be prosecuted in Garfield County by District 26 District Attorney Chris Boring, who was asked to take the case when District 4 District Attorney Mike Fields recused, citing a conflict of interest because he advises the sheriffs in District 4, which includes Garfield County. 

Boring’s district includes Alfalfa, Dewey, Major, Woods and Woodward counties.

“I appreciate the attorney general’s office and the multicounty grand jury for the support in this case,” Boring said. “My office will continue diligently working on this matter and look forward to bringing this case in front of a jury.”

The multicounty grand jury has jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute criminal matters in all 77 counties. Grand jurors meet regularly when in session for two-to-three days per month to hear testimony. All proceedings are closed to the public.

The current grand jury will meet again in Oklahoma City Aug. 15-17 to continue work on additional cases.

All defendants are innocent until proven guilty.

Background on the case, according to jail records and court documents

  • Huff was arrested June 4, 2016 on a public intoxication charge.
  • On June 6, 2016, he was placed in a restraint chair by jail staff.
  • On June 8, 2016, Huff was found unresponsive in the chair and pronounced dead.
  • On June 9, 2016, a medical examiner ruled the manner of his death to be natural causes, and the probable cause of death was due to chronic alcoholism and due to a compulsive condition from a prior disease
  • A federal lawsuit was filed on June 6, 2017, accusing Garfield County officials of negligence in his death.