7 deputies charged after inmate dies from 'asphyxiation' during transfer to mental hospital

Seven Virginia sheriff's deputies have been charged after prosecutors say they smothered a man to death while he was in custody at a state mental hospital, the New York Post reported.

Irvo Otieno, 28, died on March 6 after Henrico County Sheriff’s Office deputies transferred him from a local jail to Central State Hospital. Prosecutors say Otieno died after he was “physically restrained” when he became “combative.”

Those charged with second-degree murder were Randy Joseph Boyer, 57, Dwayne Alan Bramble, 37, Jermaine Lavar Branch, 45, Bradley Thomas Disse, 43, Tabitha Renee Levere, 50, Brandon Edwards Rodgers, 48, Kaiyell Dajour Sanders, 30.

The deputies, who turned themselves in, were placed on administrative leave.

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“The events of March 6, at their core, represent a tragedy because Mr. Otieno’s life was lost. This loss is felt by not only those close to him but our entire community,” she said in a statement.

“As Henrico County sheriff and on behalf of our entire office, I extend my deepest sympathies and condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Irvo Otieno,” Sheriff Alisa Gregory added.

Dinwiddie County Commonwealth’s Attorney Ann Cabell Baskervill said Otieno died "from asphyxia due to being smothered to death, thanks to seven people, including the defendant, on top of him, holding him down, adding that the deputies didn’t call state police until three hours after his death."

Read the full report over at the New York Post.