A toxicology report shows the man who died while in Norfolk police custody a few weeks ago had high levels of several illegal drugs in his system.
A grand jury that investigated the death of 42-year-old Andre Murphy Senior found the cause of death to be accidental.
Madison County Attorney Joe Smith says Murphy had high concentrations of methamphetamine, marijuana and K-2 in his system and he showed the symptoms.
“Excitation, delirious halucinations, hyperthermia, a bunch of things, a manic state, essentially,” Smith says.
The two officers involved have been exonerated from any charges by the grand jury. Smith says Murphy had checked in to the Norfolk Super 8 Motel about 3 AM on January 7th and had multiple conversations with motel staff before the incident at 7 AM that involved police.
Smith says evidence presented to the grand jury included records from Faith Regional Hospital, EMTs and a “tremendous amount” of video. He says virtually every second of Murphy’s contact with police was recorded.
He says, “There were numerous audio recordings because the Norfolk Police Department has car cameras and a mic system which ties into 911 or to their dispatch center and they have a microphone which ties in to the car camera which is on the officer, usually on a belt someplace.”
Smith says he agrees with the grand jury, that police action had nothing to do with Murhpy’s death.
Norfolk Police Chief Bill Mizner says the incident proves his officers can never be too prepared.
“That’s why we continue to conduct ongoing training,” Mizner says. “That’s why we try to prepare our officers not to be complacent when they respond to certain types of calls, not making assumptions about what may be involved in that type of call, being vigilant when they come in and try to pick up on little things that may give you an indication of what’s happening.”
The officers involved in the case are identified as Brian Bahns (BANES) and Ricky Martinez.
By Susan Risinger, WJAG, Norfolk