In January, William Herndon, an employee at the North Spring Behavioral Healthcare facility, was charged with involuntary manslaughter. A patient at the facility, 15-year-old Jeremiah Flemming, died in the hospital after being restrained by Herndon.
On Wednesday, Herndon was acquitted of those charges. His attorney, Todd Sanders, says his prayers are with the Flemming family, “This has been an ordeal for everyone involved and we’re glad it’s over. There are no winners here,” said Sanders.
According the police reports, Herndon restrained an agitated Jeremiah, who was punching walls after reports say he was a victim of bullying. The state medical examiner determined Jeremiah died of positional asphyxiation.
The jury concluded it wasn’t on purpose. “There’s no evidence Mr. Herndon intended to harm this young man,” said Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Jason Faw, “He was not charged with a crime of intent; it was always viewed as an accidental killing.”
A nurse awaits trial after failing to intervene in the incident.