DINWIDDIE, Va. (WRIC) — A grand jury has formally indicted seven Henrico sheriff’s deputies and three employees of Central State Hospital in the death of Irvo Otieno.
Charges were brought last week by Dinwiddie Commonwealth’s Attorney Ann Baskervill through a slightly unusual procedure, but on Tuesday a grand jury returned a true bill for the second-degree murder charges sought, formalizing them against all 10 defendants.
Irvo Otieno was in the midst of an apparent mental health crisis on March 3 when Henrico Police took him to Parham Doctors Hospital under an emergency mental health order. However, police claim he became “physically assaultive” towards officers once they arrived at the hospital, and decided to take him to the Henrico County Jail instead.
On March 6, Henrico deputies transferred him out of the jail, taking him to Central State Hospital in Dinwiddie County. There, he died after being restrained by 7 deputies on the ground for about 12 minutes.
Key evidence presented to the grand jury on Tuesday was extensive security footage that showed the events leading up to Otieno’s death as well as what deputies and hospital staff did afterward.
“In the video at Central State you see at least a knee inflicted on the body, which is — we’ve seen this before as a country,” said Dinwiddie Commonwealth’s Attorney Ann Baskervill during a hearing earlier this month. “He was held down on the ground, pinned on the ground for 12 minutes by all seven of our defendants charged here.”
Attorneys for two of the defendants have filed motions attempting to stop the release of the video shown above