April 6 (UPI) — Three Oregon jail employees were indicted for criminally negligent homicide on Wednesday for the death of an inmate who was incarcerated on drug charges.
Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office jail deputies Michael Christopher Durkan, 53, and Cory Lucinda Skidgel, 42, and jail corporal Anthony Joseph Hansen, 33, were each charged on one count of criminally negligent homicide, a felony that carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, The Bulletin reported.
On April 26, 2017, 59-year-old James Eugene Wippel died in his cell at the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Jail. According to a The Oregonian Jefferson County Sheriff Jim Adkins, Wippel complained of not feeling well and was seen by nursing staff, who recommended giving the Portland man a conditional release to go to the hospital. But Wippel died before the ambulance arrived.
It’s not clear when Wippel first requested medical attention or what steps were taken immediately afterward.
Jefferson County District Attorney Steven Leriche declined to reveal how the Wippel died or what actions the jail employees may have taken that contributed to Wippel’s death.
Wippel was arrested two days earlier on drug charges when a police officer found him smoking methamphetamine in his car outside a casino.
The jail employees remain on paid leave pending the outcome of the case.