SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY, Va. -- A Grand Jury indicted Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Deputy David Turbyfill on a felony charge for shooting Isiah Brown in April 2021, according to lawyers representing Brown. Turbyfill was officially charged with reckless handling of a firearm resulting in serious injury, a Class 6 Felony.
Brown, 32, was shot on April 21 at his home after calling 911 for help.
Part of the 911 call released shortly after the shooting indicated the deputy thought Brown, who was talking on a portable phone, had a gun.
After the dispatcher said his complaint didn’t merit a 911 call, Brown mentioned a gun and made a comment about killing his brother.
He later said that he didn’t have a gun and state police said they didn’t find one on Brown.
The deputy made comments such as “drop the gun” and "stop coming toward me” before firing.
"Mr. Brown did nothing wrong and was on the phone with a 911 dispatcher when Turbyfill recklessly shot him eight times," David Haynes, of The Cochran Firm - Washington D.C., wrote in a statement emailed to media. "We are calling for the immediate termination of Deputy David Turbyfill. We are also asking for the release of all audio communication between the deputy and dispatch, all video from the scene as well as Turbyfill's employment records and personnel file."
Deputy Turbyfill remains on administrative leave.
CBS 6 legal expert Todd Stone said that reckless use has to equal "gross" negligence by definition.
"It's tragic but criminal court may or may not believe the results that people want. It's very possible that a judge in a jury in this situation will look at all the factors and say yeah, there's some negligence, but it's not gross negligence," Stone said.
Brown was released from the hospital about a month after the shooting.
"While this indictment doesn't take Mr. Brown's physical pain away, it does signify a measure of justice," Haynes' statement continued.
A spokesperson for the Spotsylvania Sheriff's Office referred all questions to the Special Prosecutors handling the case.
Brown's attorney David Haynes said that the shooting will undoubtedly impact Brown for the rest of his life. He explains the reasons behind why his client ended up calling 911 on that night.
"Isaiah was a bit depressed. The family had lost a grandmother figure. He was having a difficult situation, a bit of mental stress and he just needed some assistance. Planting the seed of someone having a gun and you see an object in your hand it's dark outside and they are some distance away. That is a terrible recipe for disaster. It's terrible for the officer and terrible for the victim."
In addition to asking for Deputy Turbyfill to be fired, Brown's attorney wants access to his personnel file and copies of all communication between dispatch and deputy along with all body-worn camera.
Seeking help during a mental health crisis is crucial to proper care and there are several local resources you can use to get help. If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health emergency, there are local hotlines you can call.
- Richmond - (804) 819-4110
- Chesterfield - (804) 746-6356
- Henrico - (804) 727-8484
These hotlines are available 24/7 and you'll be connected to someone who can offer crisis counseling and intervention.
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