Suspect in Nevada County jail death back in jail |

Suspect in Nevada County jail death back in jail

Conner Milkey

A man facing an involuntary manslaughter charge is back in the Nevada County Jail after authorities say he was removed from a treatment facility for refusing to go to bed.

Conner E. Milkey, 25, remained in jail Thursday afternoon under $65,000 in bond. He returned to Nevada County this week after leaving a Santa Rosa facility, a probation officer testified Thursday in Nevada County Superior Court.

Milkey, accused in the May 2016 drug-related jailhouse death of Joshua Hightower-Malta, was allowed to attend the residential treatment facility in late September pending trial. Judge Robert Tice-Raskin allowed Milkey’s release on his own recognizance to enter the program, though he couldn’t leave the treatment center without returning to jail.

His stint at the facility lasted less than a week after he was spotted in the center’s kitchen after hours, Probation Officer Tarah Guild said.

“He was asked to go to bed numerous times,” she said. “He refused.”

According to Guild, Milkey said the employees couldn’t tell him what to do. Employees then escorted him from the building.

Defense attorney Jennifer Granger, who represents Milkey, argued that her client’s behavior could have been affected by a lack of medication.

“My understanding is he was praying too loud,” Granger said. “He was singing too loud. He’s exhibiting some behavior problem we don’t understand.”

Granger left open the possibility that her client, who didn’t appear Thursday in court, could again be released on his own recognizance, a suggestion Deputy District Attorney James Morris opposed.

“He didn’t even make it a week and we’re still talking about possible O.R. in the future?” he asked.

The judge then set Milkey’s next court hearing for Oct. 26.

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email or call 530-477-4239.

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