3 former hospital employees charged in death of Irvo Otieno

Posted at 8:08 AM, March 17, 2023 and last updated 11:18 AM, March 20, 2023

DINWIDDIE, Va. (WTVR) — Three now former Central State Hospital employees were charged with second-degree murder in connection to the in-custody death of Irvo Otieno.

Darian M. Blackwell, 23, of Petersburg, Wavie L. Jones, 34, of Chesterfield, and Sadarius D. Williams, 27, North Dinwiddie County were taken to Meherrin Regional Jail Thursday.


All three worked at the hospital when 28-year-old Otieno died there earlier this month.

Seven Henrico County Sheriff’s deputies were also charged with second-degree murder in connection to Otieno’s in-custody death.

“A key element of that evidence is the surveillance video from Central State Hospital that captures the intake process,” Dinwiddie County Commonwealth’s Attorney Ann Cabell Baskervill said in a statement that announced the additional arrests. “To maintain the integrity of the criminal justice process at this point, I am not able to publicly release the video.”

Otieno’s family spoke out Wednesday through their lawyer and demanded answers about what led up to their loved one’s death.

mugshots of three hospital employees charged in Otieno death

(L) Darian Blackwell, (C) Wavie Jones, (R) Sadarius Williams (via WTVR)

Attorney Mark Krudys said the family was deeply disturbed by the information they learned so far and that Otieno needed help for a mental health crisis was he suffering.

Bakersvill said Otieno was suffocated while being held on the ground at Central State Hospital. She said evidence showed he was physically restrained with handcuffs and leg shackles and died during the intake process.

“The family has very real concerns, not only with the actions of the seven deputies but also the staff that was there,” Krudys said. “A man handcuffed and in leg irons. There is absolutely no argument the defense counsel could make. He posed no threat to them.”

This story was originally published March 16 by WTVR in Richmond, an E.W. Scripps Company.