DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The death of an inmate while in custody is weighing heavy on the minds of his loved ones.
Virginia State Police (VSP) said they’re investigating the death of Irvo Otieno, 28, after he died in the custody of Henrico County Sheriff’s deputies on Monday, March 6.
According to VSP, deputies took Otieno to Central State Hospital in Dinwiddie County just before 4 p.m. Monday. Deputies were admitting him as a patient for treatment, but state police said Otieno reportedly became combative during the intake process.
Otieno was restrained and later died. His body was sent to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Richmond for an examination and autopsy.
8News requested information from the Henrico County Sheriff’s Office about the protocol for transporting inmates. Henrico County said Sheriff Alisa Gregory is not commenting on the case at this time and is referring media inquires to the VSP. VSP told 8News to contact the Henrico County Sheriff’s Office for their protocols.
Court records show Otieno had some minor traffic offenses dating back to 2013. They also show in 2015, he was found guilty of trespassing. In 2016, he was found guilty of driving while intoxicated or impaired.
Loved ones paint a different picture of Otieno, saying he enjoyed sports and music. Hunter Taylor said Otieno attended Freeman High School. As a student at Patrick Henry High School, Taylor played basketball against Otieno every year and the two went to open gym sessions together.
“Great personality. Everybody loved him,” he said.
Taylor said he was shocked to hear about Otieno’s death.
“Yeah, I’m not going to lie. Yesterday [Wednesday] was tough waking up to this news. I hope Heaven has everything he wants waiting there for him,” he said.