Former corrections officer at Richland Co. pleaded not guilty to charges related to the death of a prisoner in 2019.

MANSFIELD, Ohio. The family of the man who died incarcerated at the Richland County Jail say they are one step closer to the answers. On Wednesday, a former corrections officer was arraigned on death-related charges.

“It’s been three long years. We didn’t know if it would ever come to that,” said Toni Mould, mother of Alex Rios.

Earlier this month, former Richland County Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Cooper was charged with two counts of manslaughter and one count of negligent homicide.

RELATED: Former corrections officer charged in 2019 death of Richland County Jail inmate.

During his arraignment Wednesday in Richland County Court, Cooper pleaded not guilty to all charges.

“He should be held accountable for what happened,” said Lisa Rios, Alex Rios’ stepmother.

Rios was imprisoned at Richland Co. in the early hours of September 19, 2019 on an outstanding drug-related warrant. He was on life support in less than 24 hours.

Shortly before midnight, the warden began filming with a portable camera when Ríos refused to get down from the concrete partition in his cell. In the video, the sergeant can be heard telling him that he is going to open the cell door and put Rios in the restraining chair.

At the 53rd second of the footage, the officers open the cell door and Rios runs out of the cell. Moments later, five correctional officers pounce on the 28-year-old.

A female correctional officer is heard urging officers to use stun guns. Rios is tased twice and hit on the head.

“I don’t even fight,” Rios says in the video.

Approximately 2 minutes 45 seconds into the recording, the other officer, who has placed his right foot on Ryos’s shoulder, lifts his right leg, placing his entire body weight on Ryos’s back for seven seconds.

At some point 2 minutes into the video, Rios passes out. The father of two children never regained consciousness.

“There is a video that reflects the incident. You can watch it all day long. It would have been different if it had been some other way of dying,” said Don Mold, Rios’ stepfather.

His father, Marvin Rios, added: “They can’t say they didn’t see it. It’s on video. The video doesn’t lie.

The family tells News 5 that they hope the jury will find the evidence outlined in the video and hold Cooper responsible for what they say is his role in Ríos’ death.

Former Correctional Officer No Longer Works at Richland Co. Sheriff’s Office At the time of the arraignment on Wednesday, the magistrate ordered a $25,000 bond, despite both parties’ agreement on a non-cash bond.

Special Counsel Forrest Thompson was brought in from Medina County. He explained that studying the facts, videos and records was a long and difficult process.

“We have a cause of death that is in doubt. We have records that don’t seem to tell the whole story. And we have a controversial report that needs to be sorted out by experts,” Thompson said.

He declined to say whether charges could be brought against other corrections officers involved in the September 2019 incident.

Meanwhile, the Rios family told News 5 that Cooper’s indictment is a step in the right direction and a small relief.

“I have had difficult times from time to time. But now that things have moved on, it has become easier for me, ”said Marvin Rios.

Tony Mold added: “We are just happy, at least this is the beginning of a kind of closure for us. Three years is a long time not to know, not to know if anything will be done.”

The Rios family had previously sued Richland County in federal court. They reached a $4 million settlement in a civil case.

RELATED: Fatal Five Minutes – Man’s family wants answers after Richland prison video shows critical moments before his death

News 5 Investigators have been following the story for several years and obtained video footage of Rios’ latest interaction with corrections officers. Read more about Rios in the player below:

Fatal Five Minutes – Man’s family wants answers after Richland prison video shows critical moments before his death

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