OSBI asked to investigate death at Garfield County jail

Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation

ENID, Okla. — Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation has been called to investigate a death of an inmate at Garfield County Detention Facility.

Sheriff Jody Helm said he contacted OSBI to investigate the man's death, which occurred early Thursday morning, Sept. 12, 2019. The investigation is ongoing.

Helm said because of the ongoing investigation no further information was being released.

The last death in the county jail was in 2016, when Anthony Huff died in custody after being confined for more than two days to a restraint chair.

Former jail administrator Jennifer Shay Niles and jailers John Robert Markus and Shawn Caleb Galusha entered pleas in March in Huff's death.

Galusha entered a plea of no contest to his amended charge as part of a deal with prosecutors. He received a three-year deferred sentence, was ordered to serve 55 hours in Alfalfa County Jail within 30 days of Monday's date, pay a $1,000 assessment, $250 to the victims compensation fund, $25 jail costs and all other court costs.

Markus pleaded guilty to his amended charge of second-degree manslaughter and received a four-year suspended sentence and was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine, $250 to the victims compensation fund, $25 jail costs and all other court costs.

Niles also pleaded guilty, but entered a blind plea with a recommendation from the state. She was sentenced to 55 hours in Alfalfa County Jail. She also was given a six-year deferred sentence and was ordered to pay a $1,000 assessment in lieu of a fine, pay $250 to the victims' compensation fund, pay costs and fees, and to have 24 months of supervision.

There were two deaths at the jail in 2013 and one in 2007.

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Rains is police and court reporter for the Enid News & Eagle. Follow him on Twitter, @cassrains.
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