On Tuesday (March 14), seven central Virginia deputies were taken into custody and charged with second-degree murder for their roles in the death of Irvo Otieno, 28, during his transfer to a mental health facility, CNN reported. “The family is grief stricken after learning of the brutal nature of Ivor’s death and his inhumane treatment in the hours preceding his death,” Mark Krudys, Otieno’s family attorney, told the outlet. “The public, and experienced mental health professionals alike, will be deeply disturbed when the facts of this case are fully made known.”
The tragic incident occurred on March 6. However, authorities’ interaction with Otieno began on March 3. On March 10, via a news release, law enforcement stated on that morning, Henrico police responded to a call about a possible burglary and found Otieno. Under a Virginia law, which allows an individual to be put under an emergency custody order if they are deemed a threat to themselves or others due to mental illness, Otieno was placed into custody.
He was then taken to a nearby hospital to be evaluated. While there, authorities alleged Otieno became “physically assaultive toward officers.” As a result, he was held on three counts of assault on a police officer, disorderly conduct in a hospital, and vandalism before being transferred to the Henrico County Jail West. On March 6, Otieno was taken from the jail to Central State Hospital, a state-run mental health facility, around 4 p.m. During the intake process, police said that Otieno was reportedly “combative” and had to be “physically restrained.” He passed away shortly after. Otieno’s body was taken to the office of the chief medical examiner in Richmond for an autopsy. However, his cause of death has yet to be revealed.
Yesterday, the Henrico County deputies involved — Randy Boyer, Dwayne Bramble, Jermaine Branch, Bradley Disse, Tabitha Levere, Brandon Rodgers, and Kaiyell Sanders — all turned themselves in to state police and are on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. “The events of March 6, at their core, represent a tragedy because Mr. Otieno’s life was lost,” Sheriff Alisa Gregory said. “This loss is felt by not only those close to him but our entire community.” According to court records, the officers involved are expected to appear before a grand jury on March 21.