• Sheriff apologizes for jail inmate's death from dehydration

    By: Nick McGurk


    COUPEVILLE, Wash. - The Island County Sheriff is apologizing for the death of Keaton Farris, who died of dehydration and malnutrition after water was shut off in his jail cell.

    In a report more than 60 pages long, the sheriff apologizes for a breakdown in “policies, procedures and communication” that led to Farris’ tragic death.

    "He was my guy. He was my best friend. He was my son. And he was taken -- taken from all of us,” said father Fred Farris, who read the report on Friday.

    "I'm surprised they're still housing inmates there. You read that report, it's just laughable,” said Fred Farris.

    In the report, it shows the 25-year-old died after jail staff falsified records of checking on him in his cell, hours before his death.

    His father says Farris was a star athlete in high school who'd struggled with mental illness in the last couple of years.

    He ended up in jail after trying to cash a forged check and missing a court date.

    Fred Farris says his son is dead because of “incompetence” at the Island County Jail.

    On March 26, Keaton Farris was booked into the jail.

    On April 4th, the report says he flooded his jail cell -- so he was moved to cell where the water was turned off.

    On April 6th, when a jail nurse checked on him he said, "I need a medical professional.”

    She asked him how he was doing.

    "Not good," he said.

    On April 7, multiple checks were not conducted on Farris.

    On April 8th, he was found dead in his cell.

    "He was supposed to be in a safe place, he was supposed to be cared for, and he died from dehydration,” said attorney Kathy Goater, who represents the family.

    "I imagine a lawsuit will be filed,” she added.

    On Sunday, a protest is planned for 10 a.m. outside the jail.

    Fred Farris says not enough has been done since his son’s death, despite two deputies resigning, Chief De Dennis being suspended for 30 days without pay, and Lt. Pam McCarty being put on paid administrative leave.

    "I'm sure they have a hard time sleeping at night. And they should, ‘cause it's not right,” said Farris.

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