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Why legal expert says Irvo Otieno videos are not only evidence prosecution will need

Posted at 6:33 PM, Mar 21, 2023

DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va. -- The release of the video and information from what happened at Central State Hospital on March 6 comes at the request of Irvo Otieno's family who asked the Commonwealth's Attorney to share what happened to the 28-year-old.

On Monday, March 6 just before 4 p.m., Irvo Otieno makes it to Central State Hospital in the back of a Henrico County Sheriff's deputy's SUV.

Otieno arrived at building 39 for a mental health crisis. Video of his arrival at the building's sally port was caught on surveillance video. Nearly 20 minutes passed before he was taken out of the car.

Otieno was brought into admissions at Central State at 4:19 p.m. and was put in front of the chair, sitting on the floor. His hands were in handcuffs in front of him and his feet were in leg irons.

Six minutes later at 4:25 p.m., deputies put Otieno on the floor on his side. A minute later, deputies and Central State employees moved to restrain him.

"My perception of the video was that he didn't seem as agitated as I expected he would. And maybe part of that is because he was in restraints. And part of it is because the video was blocked by the officers themselves and you wouldn't really see what was going on. But there were many times where you could see his legs, you could see part of his head and you didn't see a lot of movement going on," Todd Stone, CBS 6's legal analyst, said.

At 4:31 p.m., Otieno appears to try and get up.

"When you look at the Central State video, you see about seven large people on top of somebody who is handcuffed. Obviously, those things are very concerning," Stone said.

At 4:35 p.m., Otieno appears to still struggle all while still being surrounded by deputies and Central State employees.

"You know, I think you got to ask the question, well, what was the goal of the law enforcement officers at that point, when they're on top of him and he's in shackles and handcuffs? What were they trying to achieve?" Stone asked.

At 4:39 p.m., 20 minutes have passed since first getting inside the admissions area. Then, a Henrico County Sheriff's Deputy checks for a pulse.

One minute later, a Central State employee appears to give Otieno two injections, though he already appears to be lifeless.

At 4:42, chest compressions begin.

CBS 6 obtained the 911 calls made from Central State to Dinwiddie County Emergency services.

"So, the patient is a new admission, so we're still in the admission unit and he's very aggressive."

A moment later, the caller tells the dispatcher that they're "doing CPR right now" and then says there's "no pulse anymore".

The dispatcher then asks for clarification if the patient is aggressive or if the patient is not breathing.

"He used to be aggressive, they're trying to put him in restraints, then eventually he's no longer breathing."

Paramedics arrived on the scene at 5:08 p.m. At 5:39 p.m., Otieno was pronounced dead. By 7:30 that evening, Virginia State Police are called to investigate his death.

The video, though, is not the only evidence the prosecution will need to get a conviction.

"If the only video or if the only evidence they have is the videotape, then I would not be at all surprised to see some of these second-degree murder charges, if not all of them, getting reduced or dropped. I would expect that we would see that happen if it's purely on the video. So you know, here there's going to be witness testimony from people who are in the room at Central State," Stone said.

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

Depend on CBS 6 News and WTVR.com for in-depth coverage of this important local story. Anyone with more information can email newstips@wtvr.com to send a tip.

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