Former Cops Plead Not Guilty After Suffocating Black Inmate To Death With Pepper Spray

Downtown Jefferson City, Missouri

Source: Ray Tan / Getty

Missouri guards who killed a Black man in prison have pleaded not guilty to murder charges.

According to AP, four former guards pleaded not guilty in the murder of Othel Moore Jr., and the fifth officer not guilty to accessory to involuntary manslaughter.

On Dec 8, Othel Moore died in Jefferson City Correctional Center after guards pepper-sprayed him, then left him in a mask to suffocate in the pepper spray, according to a criminal complaint which was filed last week.

On Monday, a Cole County Associate Circuit judge denied bond for 3 of the 5 charged with second-degree murder: Aaron Brown, Jacob Case and Justin Leggins. Gregory Varner, who was also charged with second-degree murder is scheduled to be arraigned on Wednesday.   Bryanne Bradshaw, who was charged with accessory to involuntary manslaughter has been out on bond, but her next appearance is scheduled for July 30.

All of the guards were fired for their role in the death of Othel Moore.

According to reports, Moore was strip-searched down his boxers while in his cell during a contraband sweep. He was then handcuffed behind his back and led outside his cell.

Investigators said Moore showed no aggression during the contraband sweep and was complying with officers when he was pepper-sprayed while standing outside his cell door. Moore was then put in a spit hood leg wrap and restraint chair, according to the Cole County Prosecutors Office. The guards claimed that Moore wasn’t following orders and spit at them, but witnesses say Moore was trying to spit the pepper spray from his mouth.

Witnesses also told the prosecutor’s office that they heard Moore saying he couldn’t breathe and the the incident was allegedly caught on the prison’s video surveillance system. Moore was taken to the hospital wing of the prison where he was pronounced dead shortly after.

The Medical examiner ruled Moore’s cause of death as positional asphyxiation, and his death was listed as a homicide, according to the Cole County Prosecutors Office.

The corrections department released a statement saying it has cooperated with the Cole County Sheriff’s Department’s investigation and has made policy changes since Moore was killed.

According to AP, Othel Moore was serving a 30-year sentence for charges including second-degree domestic assault and first-degree robbery. Moore’s family has also filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the defendants as well as the Missouri Department of Corrections.


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The post Former Cops Plead Not Guilty After Suffocating Black Inmate To Death With Pepper Spray appeared first on NewsOne.

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