Manslaughter charge dropped against Conner Milkey in Nevada County case | TheUnion.com

Manslaughter charge dropped against Conner Milkey in Nevada County case

A man facing an involuntary manslaughter charge in connection with a Nevada County Jail death has pleaded no contest to a drug accusation and is expected to be sentenced to probation, authorities said.

Conner Milkey, 25, is scheduled for sentencing Feb. 16 on a felony charge of bringing drugs into the jail. Previously charged in the May 2016 drug-related jailhouse death of Joshua Hightower, Milkey last week pleaded no contest to the drug charge. The involuntary manslaughter charge was dropped, Deputy District Attorney James Morris and reports state.

The plea agreement calls for three years' probation and a drug treatment program for Milkey. He'll also have credit for 276 days served in jail, Morris added.

"We feel that this was an appropriate resolution considering the risk of trial to both sides," he said.

Jennifer Granger, Milkey's defense attorney, said no evidence supported the claim that her client was linked to the jailhouse death.

"He died of a heroin overdose, that much we know," she said of Hightower.

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Authorities have said that charges against Milkey stemmed from a 2016 arrest that led to his incarceration in the local jail. Milkey was accused of smuggling drugs into jail and sharing them.

Hightower then died. Milkey faced no charges at the time because authorities didn't have the evidence, Assistant District Attorney Chris Walsh has said.

In July authorities again arrested Milkey on accusations he gave a false name to police. Driven to a facility with body-scanning equipment, Milkey ate suspected drugs during that ride which led to a hospital visit. Later, in jail, Milkey in a phone call admitted to smuggling drugs into jail the year before, Walsh has said.

Prosecutors in August filed the involuntary manslaughter charge against Milkey.

Hightower's death led in May 2017 to two of his children filing suit against Nevada County. A judge in November dismissed the suits, saying the plaintiffs failed to meet a legal deadline.

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email ariquelmy@theunion.com or call 530-477-4239.

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