Three jail employees plead not guilty in inmate’s death

BEND, Ore. (AP) — Three Oregon jail employees have pleaded not guilty to charges of criminally negligent homicide in connection with an inmate’s death.

The Bulletin reports deputies Michael Durkan, Cory Skidgel and Anthony Hansen pleaded not guilty in their first court appearance Thursday in the death of 59-year-old James Wippel.

All three were booked Thursday and issued a conditional release from jail.

Wippel, of Portland, died April 26, 2017, at the Jefferson County jail. He’d been arrested two days before on suspicion of heroin and methamphetamine possession and delivery of heroin.

At the time, the sheriff’s office said the inmate suffered a serious medical issue a few days before he was lodged in jail.

Prosecutors have yet to say what leads them to believe the employees acted with negligence.