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Virginia prosecutor essentially drops charges against 5 deputies charged in Irvo Otieno's death

Posted at 4:57 PM, May 03, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-06 12:37:36-04

DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va. -- Dinwiddie County Commonwealth's Attorney Amanda Mann has essentially dropped charges against five of the eight people arrested in connection with the in-custody death of Irvo Otieno.

Henrico County Sheriff’s Deputies Jermaine Branch, Randy Boyer, Bradley Disse, Tabitha Levere, and Dwayne Bramble were previously charged with second-degree murder in connection to Otieno's March 2023 death.

Otieno, 28, died while in custody at Central State Hospital after he was transported there from the Henrico County jail while experiencing a mental health crisis.

The deputies were directly indicted by the previous Dinwiddie Commonwealth’s Attorney Ann Cabell Baskervill.

Mann filed to nolle prosse the charges against those five deputies Friday.

According to documents obtained by CBS 6, Mann said she made her decision after the court’s refusal to allow her to reschedule the order of trials, which were set by an interim Commonwealth's Attorney following Baskervill's resignation.

A nolle prosse is not an outright dismissal, meaning charges could technically be revisited in the future.

Bramble’s attorney Russ Stone told CBS 6 they were pleased with Mann’s decision, and said both he and his client were “thankful that she has corrected this injustice.”

Initially, 10 hospital workers and sheriff's deputies were indicted on second-degree murder charges. Charges against two of the hospital employees were later dropped.

In September 2023, Otieno's family reached an $8.5 million settlement with the state, county, and the sheriff whose deputies were involved in his restraint.

The settlement agreement said the state, county, and the Henrico Sheriff have not admitted any liability and deny that their actions caused Otieno’s death, but have agreed to collectively pay the $8.5 million to Otieno’s family.

Otieno'sdeath led to legislation passing at the General Assembly that could make a difference for other families dealing with a loved one in a mental health crisis.

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