HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Henrico Commonwealth’s Attorney Shannon Taylor announced Thursday that she will conduct her own investigation of what happened in the Henrico County Jail in the days leading up to the death of Irvo Otieno.
According to Dinwiddie Commonwealth’s Attorney Ann Baskervill, Otieno was suffocated by seven deputies of the Henrico Sheriff’s Office — who now face second-degree murder charges — after they reportedly held him down for 12 minutes at Central State Hospital.
Three hospital employees were also charged with second-degree murder Thursday.
But according to Baskervill, Otieno was also abused in the days that he was held in the Henrico jail — accusations she said were backed up by as-yet-unreleased video footage.
At a hearing for the seven deputies, Baskervill said that in addition to footage of Otieno’s death at Central State, there was also evidence from the jail.
“[There is video] from the Henrico jail, which is where our defendants worked, before the transport to Central State,” Baskervill said. “And there, there are blows, there are blows — punches to at least his side, torso, very aggressive movements. He was pepper-sprayed while he was in the cell alone not posing a danger to anyone.”
Taylor now says she will also review the footage herself and release the findings of a “comprehensive investigation.”
“I want to assure the public that I am conducting a review of what happened in the Henrico jail on March 6, 2023, including studying the video evidence,” she said. “This will be a thorough and comprehensive investigation of what occurred and I will be releasing my findings upon its completion. I understand and share the public’s concerns and will do whatever I can to determine what occurred and how.”