RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – Following an $8.5 million wrongful death settlement in the death of Irvo Otieno, defense attorneys in the criminal case say they are committed and confident in proving their clients’ innocence.
On Wednesday, a Henrico Circuit Court judge approved a settlement in the death of Irvo Otieno. Otieno died after being transported to Central State Hospital in Dinwiddie County on March 6, 2023, seven Henrico County Sheriff’s deputies and one Central State employee are facing criminal charges in connection to his death.
8News spoke with legal analyst Steve Benjamin, who says this civil matter does not impact the ongoing criminal charges.
“People are going to be wondering, ‘What does this mean?’ You know, does this have any meaning or implication for the criminal defendants who have been charged with his death? And the answer is really no, it has no impact on the criminal defendants,” said Benjamin.
8News reached out to the attorneys representing the eight remaining defendants. Attorneys for Central State employee Wavie Jones and Henrico deputy Dwayne Bramble did not comment on the civil matter of the case but say they are confident and committed in proving their client’s innocence.
Henrico County will be paying $4.45 million of the $8.5 million total payment, according to the settlement.
Benjamin says that there are different requirements to prove guilt in a criminal case than are to prove liability in a civil case.
“The burden is on the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt a much higher standard that each of these criminal defendants with malice and premeditation, caused the death of Mr. Otieno,” said Benjamin.