RICHMOND, Va. -- What happened in the weeks, days, and hours leading up to thedeath of Irvo Otieno? The 28-year-old Henrico man died at Central State Hospital, a state-run mental hospital in Dinwiddie, Virginia. Seven Henrico County Sheriff's deputies and three now former Central State employees were charged with second-degree murder in Otieno's in-custody death.
Note: This timeline will be updated and clarified as CBS 6 uncovers more information about Otieno's death.
Thursday, March 2, 2023
Henrico Police respond to the 2200 block of Haviland Drive, in a western Henrico County neighborhood, after someone called concerned about the behavior of a neighbor.
Henrico Police officers encountered 28-year-old Irvo Otieno, who they determined was experiencing a mental health problem.
Officers spoke with Otieno and a family member and then returned to service.
Friday, March 3, 2023
Henrico Police officers arrived at a home in the 8800 block of Fordson Road (across the street from the 2200 block of Haviland Drive) for a reported breaking and entering.
Otieno, who lives nearby, was identified as a suspect.
Based on their interaction with him, officers and members of Henrico’s Crisis Intervention Team placed Otieno under an emergency custody order.
Otieno was taken to the Crisis Receiving Center at Parham Doctors' Hospital.
Police said, at some point, Otieno became “physically assaultive towards officers” at the hospital.
Otieno was arrested and taken from the hospital to Henrico Jail West, which is located across the street from Parham Doctors' Hospital.
Otieno spent the weekend in custody.
Monday, March 6, 2023
Otieno was placed in handcuffs and leg shackles and driven 36 miles from Henrico jail to Central State Hospital, a state-run psychiatric facility in Dinwiddie County, Virginia.
Henrico Sheriff's deputies and Otieno arrived at Central State.
Dinwiddie paramedics were called to the scene at Central State.
After revival attempts, Otieno is pronounced dead.
Virginia State Police were called to Central State to investigate Otieno’s death.
Otieno’s body was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner where the cause and manner of death were to be determined.
Wednesday, March 8, 2023
CBS 6 senior reporter Wayne Covil filed the first report on Otieno’s death.
Virginia State Police confirmed it was investigating the death.
State Police said it was reported to them that Otieno became combative during the intake process, was restrained, and later died.
Henrico Sheriff Alisa Gregory told CBS 6 she believed her deputies “went above and beyond” and handled things properly prior to taking Otieno to Central State.
Tuesday, March 14, 2023
Dinwiddie Commonwealth’s Attorney Ann Baskervill announced seven Henrico Sheriff’s deputies were charged with second-degree murder, calling the situation a “horrible miscarriage of justice.”
Sheriff Gregory said her office was cooperating with the Virginia State Police investigation.
She said the accused deputies were placed on paid administrative leave.
Wednesday, March 15, 2023
Baskervill said the preliminary cause of Otieno’s death was asphyxiation.
The seven Henrico Sheriff's deputies appeared via video in Dinwiddie Circuit Court.
Two of the deputies were granted bond.
CBS 6 reporter Tyler Layne attempted to speak with two deputies after they were released from Meherrin River Regional Jail. They declined to comment.
Cary Bowen, defense attorney for one of the deputies, said the prosecutor took a “very aggressive position” and called her handling the case "unusual."
Bowen also said he was told Otieno became unresponsive at Central State after he was administered injections of sedative.
Thursday, March 16, 2023
Henrico Commonwealth’s Attorney Shannon Taylor released a statement that said she was investigating what happened at Henrico jail on March 6.
Baskervill announced three Central State Hospital employees were also charged with second-degree murder.
Otieno’s family held a news conference with local attorney Mark Krudys and national civil rights attorney Ben Crump.
Otieno’s mother said her son had suffered from mental illness for years.
Family and attorneys said they were shown videos from inside the Henrico jail and Central State, which they claim showed Otieno being tortured, brutalized, and ultimately smothered to death.
Attorneys said Henrico jail video showed Otieno being “force rushed” by several deputies while he was naked in his cell, then carried “almost lifeless” to the transport vehicle.
Attorneys said the Central State video also showed an appreciable period of time passed before rescue efforts/CPR was started, and questioned why Virginia State Police was not immediately called to investigate the death.
Attorneys call on the United States Department of Justice to investigate if Otieno’s constitutional rights were violated.
Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services – which oversees Central State Hospital – released a statement that said it was cooperating with the Virginia State Police investigation and was working to ensure Otieno’s family received details on the events that led to his death.; three employees were placed on administrative leave.
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