On Tuesday, Garfield County Sheriff and five jail employees were indicted, charged with second degree manslaughter after the death of an inmate named Anthony Huff.
News 9 has reached out to both sides of the case.
The attorney for the Estate of Anthony Huff, Eddie Wyant, did not want to do an on-camera interview, but sent a statement. It reads, “Mr. Huff’s family appreciates the time and attention that District Attorney Chris Boring and the Multi-County Grand Jury have devoted to fully understand the horrific circumstances surrounding the death of their loved one, and their willingness to hold those who are responsible accountable for their actions.”
Eric Bayat, the attorney for Garfield County Sheriff Jerry Niles called our reporter back and did an interview. He said, “Me and the sheriff talk a few times a day. I know he is very upset. He’s heartbroken.”
Bayat said Sheriff Niles heard through the grapevine that his name could be on the sealed documents, but it still took him by surprise on Tuesday when he found out it was true. Bayat believes the charge should be dropped for Niles.
“The Garfield County Detention Center and the Sheriff’s actual office are in two different locations. I believe they’re actually miles apart,” he said, indicating Niles is not at the jail on a regular basis. “At the end of the day, you’re always going to go to the top, and I think that’s why his name was included in there,” he said.
Bayat tells News 9 he believes the Sheriff has as strong defense and that he is not involved in Huff’s death. He said Niles is now leaving his hands in the fate of the justice system and the community he has served for decades. “I absolutely believe that the sheriff is innocent in this,” said Bayat.
The next court date is August 15th.