Three Virginia hospital workers have been arrested in connection to the death of Irvo Otieno at a mental health facility on March 6. File Photo by Simaah
March 16 (UPI) -- Three Virginia hospital workers have been arrested and charged with second-degree murder in connection to the death of 28-year-old Irvo Otieno, who was a patient at the mental-health facility where they worked.
The arrests come after seven sheriff's deputies were charged in Otieno's death on Wednesday.
Darian Blackwell, 23, Sadarius Williams, 27, and Wavie Jones, 34, were taken into custody Thursday and are being held at the Meherrin Regional Jail.
Additionally, seven sheriff's deputies were charged with second-degree murder on Tuesday.
Police said they first made contact with Otieno on March 2, and he was detained the next day by officers investigating a break-in. He was taken to a hospital, where police say he became "physically assaultive." Otieno was charged with three counts of assault on a law-enforcement officer.
The full timeline of events between Otieno's arrest and his death on March 6 has not yet been established.
Commonwealth attorney Ann Baskervill described the death as a "horrible miscarriage of justice by individuals and institutions," and that surveillance video of the death exists, though it has not been released to the public. On Thursday, Otieno's family viewed the video.
According to Baskervill, deputies held down Otieno at Central State Hospital while he was restrained, suffocating him.
"The criminal information warrants are based on evidence collected, analyzed and evaluated to-date," Baskervill said.
"He was treated deplorably. He was treated with force and not love when he was in a mental-health crisis," said Mark Krudys, an attorney for Otieno's family.
"A man handcuffed and in leg irons. There is absolutely no argument the defense counsel could make. He posed no threat to them," Krudys said.