The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals ruled Garfield County Sheriff Jerry Niles will not stand trial over a jail inmate's death, according to his attorney.
Niles was accused of first-degree manslaughter for the 2016 death of an inmate arrested for public intoxication.
Anthony Huff, 58, of Enid died in a restraint chair after being confined there for 54 hours, according to court records.
During the preliminary hearing in August 2018, a district judge dismissed the charge against the sheriff indicating the state had insufficient evidence against Niles.
A reviewing judge also upheld the dismissal. Prosecutors asked the appeals court to decide.
“In a ruling handed down today the court denied the state’s appeal,” said Gary James, a prominent OKC defense attorney representing Niles. "The court found no wrongdoing against the sheriff.”
Niles was first elected in 2012 and maintained his innocence throughout the ordeal. He has been on voluntary paid suspension in light of the allegations.
“We are very pleased that the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals agreed with our position surrounding the manslaughter charge against Garfield County Sheriff Jerry Niles. This has been a long ordeal for the sheriff and we are glad that this felony case is now behind him. We look forward to arranging a time for Sheriff Niles to retake his position as the duly elected sheriff of Garfield County “ - Gary James, OKC Defense Attorney.