Three former employees of a mental hospital accused of killing a patient

Three former employees of the Central City Hospital in St. Petersburg, Virginia, are charged with second-degree murder in connection with the death of a patient, as well as seven law enforcement officers.

According to a press release from Henrico Police, on March 3 in Henry County, Virginia, police officers and members of the emergency response team responded to a possible burglary. Irvo Noel Otieno, 28, was taken into emergency custody and taken to the district hospital for further examination. Mr. Otieno was “physically abused” by the officers who took him to the county jail.

On March 6, Mr. Otieno was admitted to the Central State Hospital, a state psychiatric facility. CNN reported. Unreleased CCTV footage shows all seven aides restraining Mr. Otieno during the admissions process for 12 minutes. Mr. Otieno died of asphyxiation, according to a preliminary report from the chief medical examiner’s office in Richmond, Virginia.

“You see in the video that he is handcuffed, he has shackles on his legs, and you see in most of the video that he is kind of in between lifelessness and unconsciousness, but still you see him being kneed so brutally. around his neck,” Ben Crump, the Otieno family’s lawyer, said during a press conference.

Mr Otieno was black and Mr Crump compared the footage to the death of George Floyd in May 2020. CNN.

“They choked him to death,” said Ann Cabell Baskerville, Dinwiddie County Commonwealth Attorney. NPR. “He died of asphyxiation due to being strangled.”

All three hospital employees are Darian Blackwell, 23; Wavey Jones, 34; and Sadarius Williams, 27, were specialty management specialists, a hospital spokesman said. Becker. According to the hospital’s job descriptions, dedicated management assistants are to “assist in maintaining a safe, secure, and therapeutic environment for patients accommodated in the Maximum Security Building” and “provide therapeutic and physical interventions when needed, and assist with monitoring and engagement activities.” . with patients.”

“The Department of Behavioral Health and Development Services and Central Public Hospital are cooperating fully with the Virginia State Police on this investigation and are working to ensure that Mr. Otieno’s family is informed of the tragic events at the hospital,” a hospital spokesman said. Becker. “Three hospital employees who have been charged will be placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the trial. We will comply with the legal process as long as we and our staff continue to provide critical care to patients at the Central State Hospital.”

The case will appear before a grand jury next week. NPR reported.

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