newsgrand jury indicts 10 for second degree murder in death of black man at psychiatric hospital

Grand jury indicts 10 for second-degree murder in death of Black man at psychiatric hospital

Crystal Graham
police crime scene
(© Prathaan –

A grand jury in Dinwiddie County indicted 10 people Tuesday in the death of 28-year-old Irvo Otieno at Central State Hospital. Otieno, a Black man, had been taken into custody three days prior to his death for mental health distress in Henrico County.

Seven Henrico County sheriff’s deputies and three hospital employees were charged with second-degree murder after Otieno was held down for 12 minutes while in custody.

The grand jury confirmed there was enough evidence for criminal charges.

The Washington Post published a video Monday showing the intake of Otieno at the psychiatric hospital.

“After watching the video online, my heart grieves for Mr. Otieno and his family at their loss. This is a gut-wrenching reminder that significant changes are needed in our behavioral health system,” Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin said in an statement to VPM.

Dinwiddie County Commonwealth’s Attorney Ann Cabell Baskervill described the incident as “cruel” at a court hearing last week.

“The criminal information warrants are based on the evidence collected, analyzed and evaluated to-date,” said Baskervill. “A key element of that evidence is the surveillance video from Central State Hospital that captures the intake process.”

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Three additional arrests made in Virginia man’s ‘cruel’ death at mental health hospital

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.