Otieno family, attorneys speak after videos’ release, grand jury hearing

Attorneys Ben Crump and Mark Krudys chant "Justice of Irvo" with Otieno's mother, Caroline...
Attorneys Ben Crump and Mark Krudys chant "Justice of Irvo" with Otieno's mother, Caroline Ouko, at The First Baptist Church of South Richmond.(WWBT)
Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 5:45 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 21, 2023 at 5:55 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Irvo Otieno’s family and attorney are holding a news conference Tuesday after videos of Otieno’s death were released. The grand jury indicted 10 people on second-degree murder charges.

In a video released Tuesday morning, Henrico County deputies and hospital employees over top of Otieno at Central State Hospital. The video also shows CPR being administered.

“It’s one thing to hear it. It’s another thing to see it with your own eyes. I mean, the people that are supposed to protect and serve took life away,” Crump said after the footage was released.

Otieno died on March 6 during an in-take process at Central State Hospital. On Tuesday, surveillance videos from that day were released.

“Irvo needed a helping hand. What he got was an overdose of excessive force,” Crump said at the conference.

Watch the entire press conference below:

In a video obtained Tuesday afternoon, Otieno can be seen at the Henrico jail and deputies entering his cell before taking him to Central State.

The family’s attorney Mark Krudys says they held this conference the same day the videos were released to refute “excuses” the defense was making that Irvo was being “combative” during intake.

Otieno’s mother, Caroline, called him the “peacemaker” of the family, describing the man as her youngest son with a gentle, kind heart. She also said Henrico Doctors’ Hospital hospital staff denied her to see her son four times as he was having a mental health crisis. She says they eventually took Irvo through the back of the hospital and to Henrico Jail.

Crump and Krudys both called for governmental action to create a mental health alert system in Irvo’s honor.

Right now, the city of Richmond has the Marcus Alert, named after Marcus-David Peters, a Black teacher killed by Richmond police in 2018 amid a mental health crisis. According to the Department of Behavioural Health, remaining cities and localities in Virginia have until July 1, 2028, to implement the Marcus Alert.

Krudys also said the deputies charged were not wearing body cameras at the time of Otieno’s death.

Also, on Tuesday, a grand jury indicted the 10 people charged in the case. The seven deputies’ charges are:

  • Randy Joseph Boyer
  • Dwayne Alan Bramble
  • Jermaine Lavar Branch
  • Bradley Thomas Disse
  • Tabitha Renee Levere
  • Brandon Edwards Rodgers
  • Kaiyell Dajour Sanders

The three Central State Hospital employees facing charges are:

  • Darian M. Blackwell
  • Wavie L. Jones
  • Sadarius D. Williams