A jailhouse nurse charged along with two sheriff's deputies in the death of a mentally ill Georgia man — who was Tasered while restrained — caught a break on Friday when the trial judge tossed an involuntary manslaughter charge.
Prosecutors had argued that Gregory Brown failed to check on Mathew Ajibade every 15 minutes while he was in isolation — but it turned out the state's investigator got the policy for medical staff wrong, NBC affiliate WSAV reported.
Brown still faces charges that he falsified public records and made false statements — and the two deputies who are his co-defendants are still charged with involuntary manslaughter.
Ajibade, 22, died after being taken into police custody on New Year’s Day in the midst of what his family described as a bipolar episode. He allegedly hit his girlfriend and broke a deputy's nose.
At the Chatham County jail, he was handcuffed to a restraint chair. Graphic video played in court Friday showed how deputy Jason Kenny used a stun gun on Ajibade while he was in the chair.
Officers also placed a spit mask over Ajibade's mouth. He was found dead in the chair, still wearing the spit mask, in the early morning hours of January 2.
Nine deputies who were on duty were fired in May, including Kenny and the other deputy on trial, Maxine Evans.
Mark O’Mara, best known for his successful defense of Georgia Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin, is representing the Ajibade family, who are weighing a civil suit.
“It is nothing less than torture,” O’Mara said of the video. “It’s sadism.”