MADRAS, Ore. (AP) — Three sheriff’s officers in Oregon have been indicted on charges of criminally negligent homicide in connection with an inmate’s death. The indictment was filed early Thursday against Michael Durkan, Cory Skidgel and Anthony Hansen — corrections officers with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office in central Oregon, according to court documents and a statement from the Jefferson County district attorney. They are accused in the death of a James Wippel, 59, who died at the Jefferson County Jail last April. At the time, the sheriff’s office said Wippel suffered a serious medical issue a few days after landing in jail on drug charges. Paramedics arrived to take him to a hospital, but he died at the scene. John Wentworth, the deputy district attorney with the Clackamas County district attorney’s office who is handling the case, said authorities aren’t planning to arrest the three before their arraignment, which is scheduled for April 19. An attorney representing Skidgel, Jennifer Kimble, said Skidgel would be pleading not guilty. An attorney representing Anthony Hansen could not immediately be reached Thursday, nor could an attorney for Durkan be identified. Jefferson County district attorney Steven Leriche said his office handed off the case to the Clackamas prosecutor to avoid any conflict of interest. “Jefferson county is a small place,” Leriche said. “We all know these corrections deputies.” Leriche added that he hadn’t been close with any of the three. Neither Leriche nor Wentworth would comment on what led investigators to charge the three. Negligent homicide, the charge faced by each of the three, carries a maximum sentence of five years. Durkan and Skidgel are deputies; Hansen is a corporal. Leriche confirmed the three had been removed from active duty.
Karnopp Petersen LLP and Legal Aid Services of Oregon are launching a new free legal clinic on the Warm Springs Reservation. Eligible clients will receive a free 45-60 minute consultation with an attorney to discuss their legal issue. To learn more about the clinic or find out if you qualify, you can, stop by the Warm Springs Community Action Team Office this Monday (4/9/18) from 10am-3pm for an in-person intake.
The Moving Mountains Weight Loss and fitness challenge continues in Jefferson County and here in Warm Springs. Participants are invited to a Poker Walk tomorrow (4/7/18). They are meeting at the Madras Bowl at 9am. Another Moving Mountains walk will be next Wednesday at Juniper Hills Park in Madras starting at 5:15pm. With milder weather – going for a walk is a healthy daily activity for anyone. The Moving Mountains contest is a four-month “get healthy” event that typically draws several hundred participants that began in January and will end in May. The program is coordinated by the Jefferson County Health Department
In Prep Sports The Madras White Buffalo won a four team track and field event they hosted yesterday (4/5/18) over Crook County, Culver and Condon/Wheeler high schools. Leading the Buffs were Stefaughn Jackson with a win in the 200 meter dash and 2nd place in the 800. Allen Jackson won the 110 hurdles and came in third in the high jump. Dalton Waldow won the long jump, Austin Charley came in first in the 1500 meters and Donnie Bagley won the javelin. Natalia Tewee won the 800 meters and came in third for the high jump. Racquel Smith won the 200 meters for the Buffs with Olivia Symons winning the 100 meters.