SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Felony charges against a Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Office deputy accused of shooting an unarmed Black man multiple times have been dropped on the fourth day of a planned five-day trial, according to the Virginia Judiciary.
On April 21, 2021, Isiah Brown was standing on Catharpin Road, speaking to a police dispatcher on the phone. In the released 911 call, Brown said his brother was preventing him from getting his belongings and he couldn’t get to his car. During the call, he told the dispatcher that he was going to kill his brother. The dispatcher then asked Brown whether or not he had a gun, he said he did not.
Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Deputy David Turbyfill then arrived at the scene.
In a bodycam video of the incident, Turbyfill can reportedly be heard yelling at Brown to “drop the gun.” The deputy then says, “he’s got a gun to his head.”
“Stop walking towards me, stop walking towards me, stop, stop,” the deputy repeats. Shortly after that, multiple shots ring out. Brown was reportedly shot seven times.
Brown spent weeks in the hospital after the shooting and underwent treatment for severe injuries for over a month while in recovery.
Turbyfill said he shot Brown thinking the phone he was holding at the time was a gun. Months later, he was charged with felony reckless handling of a firearm resulting in serious injuries.
Brown’s attorney David Haynes of The Cochran Firm released a statement in the wake of this week’s trial and the dismissal of the case on Thursday, Feb. 9.
“Isiah and his family are very disappointed that the felony criminal charge against Spotsylvania County deputy David Turbyfill has been dismissed by the judge before it reached the jury.
Even though Mr. Brown was unarmed, posed no danger to the deputy and was on the phone with 911 at the time, he was shot seven times and suffered significant injuries. His life has been changed forever.
We are hopeful that this incident has led to positive changes and appropriate training within the department.
Mr. Brown’s civil litigation claim was previously resolved. He is thankful to be alive and continues his road to recovery.”