Grand jury indicts 10 people accused of Irvo Otieno’s death

A grand jury has indicted 10 individuals accused of the death of Irvo Otieno, a mentally ill man who suffocated to death earlier this month while in the custody of law enforcement in Virginia.

Seven Henrico County Sheriff’s Deputies — Randy Joseph Boyer, Dwayne Alan Bramble, Jermaine LaVar Branch, Bradley Thomas Diess, Tabitha Rene Lever, Brandon Edwards Rogers, and Kaiwell Dajur Sanders — were charged with one count of second-degree murder each.

On March 14, all seven deputies were charged with second-degree murder and reported to the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

Three hospital employees — Sadarius Devon Williams, Wavi Lavon Jones and Darian Malik Blackwell — were also charged with one count of second-degree murder.

Irvo Otieno, who died during a confrontation with law enforcement in Petersburg, Virginia, is seen in this promotional image released March 16, 2023. Ben Crump Law/Handout via Reuters

Otieno, 28, was being driven from the Henrico County Jail to Virginia Central State Hospital, a state mental health facility, on the afternoon of March 6. A spokesperson previously told CBS News that Otieno became violent while being transported to the facility. .

Surveillance video shows Otieno, handcuffed and shackled, being led to a chair in the waiting room. About eight minutes later, the video shows at least two officers holding Otieno to the ground and responding to his movements. Then the officers seem to lose their grip on him and he rolls across the floor. Four minutes later, more police and hospital staff arrive and restrain him.

At least nine people were seen on cameras crashing onto the top of Otieno as other hospital staff watched. The video shows that he was held for 11 minutes. He died at the scene.

“My son was treated like a dog. Worse than a dog. My son was tortured,” said Otieno’s mother, Caroline Ouko, who viewed the video before it was released.

The investigation is ongoing.

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