Madras, Ore.- On Wednesday, April 4, 2018 a Jefferson County Grand Jury indicted three Jefferson County Sheriff’s Deputies in connection with the death of James Eugene Wippel, who had been lodged in the Jefferson County jail and died after he had been released from the jail and
was being prepped for transport to the hospital by ambulance personnel on April 26, 2017.
At the time of the incident Sheriff Adkins called for an investigation by the Central Oregon Major Incident Team as is customary with an inmate death. Sheriff Adkins firmly believes law enforcement needs to be transparent and held accountable, “If there is wrong doing and the investigation may shed light on how we can better care for and prevent this from happening in the future.” said Adkins.
The Central Oregon Major Incident Team had completed an extensive investigation which lasted many months. For reasons of fairness and unbiased examination, the Jefferson County District Attorney decided to have the case reviewed by the Clackamas County District Attorney who brought the case before a Jefferson County Grand Jury.
Adkins was quoted as saying, “The death of Mr. Wippel is tragic and I’m bothered that it happened at my facility with so many professionals involved and I am heart-broken over these indictments because these deputies are good and faithful deputies, who care very much about their jobs and the people they are charged with overseeing. I have faith in our system and in the citizens who reviewed this case.”
Sheriff Adkins thanked the Major Incident Team for conducting this difficult investigation.
The deputies listed below have been placed on paid administrative leave, pending the completion of an internal investigation and or prosecution.
Corporal Tony Hansen hired February 2015 as a corrections deputy.
Deputy Cory Skidgel hired February 2017 as a corrections deputy.
Deputy Mike Durkan hired April 2015 as a patrol deputy, transferred to corrections in May 2016.
James Whippel, DOB/ 09-05-57, was being held on Unlawful Possession of Heroin, Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine, Unlawful Deliver of Heroin. Courts had set bail at $50,000