Virginia deputies charged in man’s death at mental hospital | Virginia

Seven Virginia sheriff’s office employees have been charged with second-degree murder in connection with the death of a 28-year-old man at a state hospital for mental health last week, a local prosecutor said.

Henrico county sheriff’s office personnel took the victim, Irvo Otieno, to Central State hospital on 6 March to admit him as a patient, said Dinwiddie county commonwealth’s attorney, Ann Cabell Baskervill, late on Tuesday.

Otieno, who was physically restrained, died during the intake process, Baskervill said in a statement.

“Mr Otieno’s family was notified by my office this morning of these charges and I will continue to work with and for his family in relation to pursuing this case to its fullest extent,” Baskervill said.

Baskervill’s statement did not state a cause of death but said Otieno’s body had been taken to a medical examiner’s office for an autopsy.

Otieno’s family has previously raised concerns about his treatment, with his mother telling the Richmond Times-Dispatch for a story published last Saturday that “something went wrong” while he was in the government’s custody.

“The family is grief stricken after learning of the brutal nature of Irvo’s death and his inhumane treatment in the hours preceding his death. The public, and experienced mental health professionals alike, will be appalled when the facts of this case are fully disclosed,” Mark Krudys, an attorney for the family, said in a statement.

Otieno, whose family is from Kenya, was a deeply loved and well-regarded man, an aspiring musician who had been a well-known high school athlete in the area, Krudys said.

Henrico county police have previously said in a news release that officers responding to a report of a possible burglary on 3 March identified Otieno as a potential suspect. Based on their interaction with and observations of Otieno, officers put him under an emergency custody order. He was taken to a hospital for evaluation, the news release issued on Friday said.

At the hospital, Otieno “became physically assaultive toward officers, who arrested him” and took him to a local jail, which is managed by the Henrico sheriff’s office, where he was served with several charges.

A spokesperson for Virginia state police, Corinne Geller, confirmed that the agency’s investigation was ongoing. She said state police had obtained hospital security footage as part of their criminal investigative file. There are no immediate plans to release it, she said.

The seven Henrico county sheriff’s office employees turned themselves in on Tuesday morning and were taken to a regional jail, where they are being held without bond, Baskervill said.

Court records do not list defense attorneys for any of the seven defendants: Randy Joseph Boyer, 57, of Henrico; Dwayne Alan Bramble, 37, of Sandston; Jermaine Lavar Branch, 45, of Henrico; Bradley Thomas Disse, 43, of Henrico; Tabitha Renee Levere, 50, of Henrico; Brandon Edwards Rodgers, 48, of Henrico; and Kaiyell Dajour Sanders, 30, of North Chesterfield. The records show hearings scheduled in their cases for Wednesday morning, dealing with appointment of counsel.

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