Island County deputies on paid leave after inmate’s death

COUPEVILLE — Two Island County sheriff’s deputies were put on paid leave Thursday in connection with the death of an inmate at the jail.

The deputies are under investigation for “alleged departmental policy violations,” Sheriff Mark Brown said Friday.

Keaton Farris, 25, was found dead Wednesday in his cell. He had been booked March 26 for investigation of second-degree identity theft in San Juan County. Farris was kept in a cell by himself, Brown said. He was awaiting a mental health evaluation to determine if he could assist with his own defense, according to San Juan County court records.

Brown declined to share additional details about how Farris was found. An autopsy is scheduled to determine Farris’ cause of death, according to the Whidbey News-Times.

“Out of respect for the family, we will not be commenting upon the pending investigation,” Brown said.

The sheriff also expressed “heartfelt sympathy for the families and friends who are suffering from this unfortunate loss.”

Farris had no criminal history before his arrest.

On Jan. 27, a Lopez Island man reported that someone had cashed one of his stolen checks at a local bank. Farris’ driver license number was written on the check.

The next day, Farris’ mother reported to the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office that he’d been missing for five days. He was found safe hours later in Seattle.

Prosecutors filed charges March 2, alleging Farris passed the stolen check for $355.

A warrant for his arrest was issued March 20, records show. He was found a few days later, and a judge Monday ordered that Farris undergo a mental health evaluation to determine if he was competent.

Farris has addresses listed in court papers in Coupeville and on Lopez Island. He attended high school in both school districts.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Photo by Kira Erickson/South Whidbey Record
Freeland resident Kevin Lungren has been commuting to the office using his paddleboard. It's a commute he can do in all seasons and just about any type of weather, except wind.
Whidbey commuter paddleboards his way to work in all seasons

The financial advisor says he’s only fallen off his board twice in the past five years.

Photo by Heather Mayhugh
Stuart Peeples demonstrates how to enter Heather Mayhugh's wheelchair van. In recent months, while navigating the new Mukilteo ferry terminal, Mayhugh has struggled to unload her clients who need access to the restroom.
People with mobility issues find new ferry terminal lacking

Some disabled folks say not enough thought went into improving the Mukilteo facility’s accessibility.

Temporary Lake Stevens Library to open this summer

The location will serve as the Sno-Isle branch until the proposed civic center campus is complete.

$500,000 available for Edmonds nonprofits

Organizations can apply for Edmonds Rescue Plan funds until Aug. 20.

Parts of Snohomish County under weekend heat advisory

Monroe and areas of the county near the Cascades were expected to see highs in the 90s.

Marysville man wins $100,000 in military vaccine lottery

Carmen S., who served in the Vietnam War, claimed his $100,000 cash prize this week.

Tirhas Tesfatsion (GoFundMe) 20210727
State AG says it can’t investigate Lynnwood Jail death

Tirhas Tesfatsion’s family pushed Lynnwood leaders for an independent inquiry. Her death was ruled a suicide.

Family and friends gather at the waters of the Skykomish River at Eagle Falls in memorial of Devin Shelby Thursday afternoon Index on July 29, 2021. Devin Shelby drowned at Eagle Falls and his body has not been recovered. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
The Skykomish took him. His parents want him to be the last

A year ago, Devin Shelby drowned at Eagle Falls. His body was never found. His family still grieves.

County lost 100 aerospace manufacturing jobs in June

At 6.1%, Snohomish County has the sixth-highest unemployment rate in Washington.

Most Read