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Henrico deputy's wife says aftermath of arrests has been 'horrible' and 'no one can sleep at night'

Posted at 11:16 PM, Mar 15, 2023

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Seven Henrico County Sherriff's deputies were arraignedon Wednesday morning on second-degree murder charges in the death of Irvo Otieno.

The wife of a deputy whose husband was not one of the seven arrested said that the aftermath of the arrests has been difficult for the deputies who are still on the job.

"It's been horrible. No one can sleep at night. My kids are worried about their dad going to work," the deputy's wife said. "If they can't do their jobs because they're scared, they can get hurt on the job, and I think most of them will quit."

Otieno, 28, was pronounced dead at Central State Hospital on March 6.

Dinwiddie prosecutor Ann Bakersvill said a video showed a naked Otieno being tackled by five people and struck by multiple people. She said she had even more concerns about why deputies waited three hours to call state police.

"He was held down on the ground for 12 minutes by all seven of our defendants charged here. So much so, they smothered him and smothered him to death," Bakersvill said.

Otieno, who was wearing shackles and handcuffs at the time of his death, also received two injections from Central State employees, according to Bakersvill.

Defense attorney Carey Bowen, who represents Jermaine Branch one of the arrested deputies, said she believes these injections contributed to his death.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email newstips@wtvr.com to send a tip.

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