Seven members of the Henrico County Sheriff’s Office in Virginia were charged with secondary-degree murder in the death of a Black man at a state-run psychiatric hospital last week.
28-year-old Irvo Noel Otieno, who died on March 6, was initially placed under an emergency custody order after deputies responded to a potential burglary on the morning of March 3, according to a news release shared by the department on Friday.
Randy Joseph Boyer, 57, of Henrico; Dwayne Alan Bramble, 37, of Sandston; Jermaine Lavar Branch, 45, of Henrico; Bradley Thomas Disse, 43, of Henrico; Tabitha Renee Levere, 50, of Henrico; Brandon Edwards Rodgers, 48, of Henrico; and Kaiyell👇🏾 pic.twitter.com/be6xba0BaA
— 🤎⚜️DarkAveryMariah⚜️🤎 (@DarkAveryMariah) March 15, 2023
Victim Died While Restrained With Handcuffs, Leg Shackles During Hospital Intake Process
Just a day prior, Otieno’s neighbor contacted authorities for a mental health call after reporting his erratic behavior, WTVR reports.
Otieno was eventually taken to Central State Hospital, a mental health facility.
Dinwiddie County Commonwealth’s Attorney Ann Cabell Baskervill told the outlet that Otieno had been physically restrained with leg shackles and handcuffs when he died during the intake process on March 6.
The deputies were charged with second-degree murder after Baskervill viewed a 12-minute video showing him essentially being smothered to death.
“Otieno was smothered to death by the weight of seven deputies on top of him,” per WTVR News.
District Attorney Calls Otieno’s Death “Cruel Treatment,” All Seven Officers Turn Themselves In
Baskervill called the deputies response towards Otieno as “cruel treatment,” according to the outlet.
All seven deputies were arrested after voluntarily turning themselves in on Tuesday, WRIC reports.
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The deputies charged in connection to Otieno’s death are Randy Joseph Boyer, 57; Dwayne Alan Bramble, 37; Jermaine Lavar Branch, 45; Bradley Thomas Disse, 43; Tabitha Renee Levere, 50; Brandon Edwards Rodgers, 48, and Kaiyell Dajour Sanders, 30.
During their arraignments, Baskervill claimed that Otieno had been a victim of asphyxia and was suffocated as officer’s held him on the ground.
County Sheriff Says Office Is Fully Cooperating With Investigation, Next Court Date Set For March 21
ABC News reports that all seven deputies are set to appear before a grand jury on March 21.
Meanwhile, Henrico County Sheriff Alisa A. Gregory stating that their office was fully cooperating with the investigation.
“As Henrico County sheriff and on behalf of our entire office, I extend my deepest sympathies and condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Irvo Otieno. The events of March 6, at their core, represent a tragedy because Mr. Otieno’s life was lost. This loss is felt by not only those close to him but our entire community,” the statement reads.
Sheriff Gregory’s statement continued: “The seven deputies who were transferring custody of Mr. Otieno have been placed on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the Commonwealth’s cases. As an office, we are cooperating fully with the investigation of the Virginia State Police. Separately, we are conducting our own independent review of this incident.”
This is a developing story. Be sure to check back in with The Shade Room for more updates as they come.