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Three Indicted in Restrained Georgia Prisoner Mathew Ajibade's Death

by Tracy Connor and Tom Winter /  / Updated 
Image: Mathew Ajibade
Mathew AjibadeWSAV

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Two Georgia sheriff's deputies and a health care worker have been indicted for involuntary manslaughter in connection with the death of a mentally ill man who was allegedly Tasered while in restraints and then left alone.

The Chatham County grand jury in Savannah declined to charge the officer accused of using the stun gun with felony murder, but it did indict him on charges of aggravated assault and cruelty to an inmate.

"It was too quick, and it's not enough," said Mark O'Mara, who is representing the family of Mathew Ajibade. "We're very frustrated only three people were charged or indicted."

Image: Mathew Ajibade
Mathew AjibadeWSAV

Ajibade, 22, was handcuffed to a restraint chair in an isolation cell on New Year's Day after he allegedly hit his girlfriend and broke a deputy's nose while in the midst of what his family described as a bipolar episode.

Nine deputies who were on duty were fired last month. Two weeks ago, the coroner ruled Ajibade's death a homicide, citing abrasions, scrapes and bumps on his upper body and head.

Related: Georgia Man's Death in Custody Sparks Jail Shakeup

The grand jury found that Cpl. Jason Kenny, 31, used "excessive force" against Ajibade and caused his death "by tasing him while he was restrained." The jurors found that Cpl. Maxine Evans, 56, failed to monitor Ajibade while he was restraints and then lied about it.

Gregory Brown, 45, a health care worker at the county jail, failed to monitor the prisoner and lied to an investigator about it, the grand jury said.

O'Mara — best known for representing George Zimmerman against a murder charge in the death of Trayvon Martin — said the prosecutor's presentation lasted only six hours.

"It took way too long to get to a grand jury, and she did not give it enough time to get it right," he said, adding that the family believes more officers should have been indicted.

"They are disappointed that nine out of 12 people involved in their son or cousin or brother's death have gotten away without any criminal liability," he added.

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