An employee at a behavioral health care center in Virginia has been found not guilty after he was charged in connection with the death of a 15-year-old boy after being restrained.
William P. Herndon, 47, of Martinsburg, West Virginia, was found not guilty on charges of involuntary manslaughter in the death of the boy at the North Spring Behavioral Healthcare facility, in Leesburg, Virginia.
The victim, a resident of Norfolk, Virginia was a patient at the facility. He "lost his life after being restrained by the employee," the sheriff's office said shortly after the incident, which occurred Nov. 19, 2017.
An autopsy report ruled the teen's death was accidental and found he died from "positional asphyxia due to physical restraint." But Herndon's defense attorney underscored another autopsy finding: The teen also had an underlying heart abnormality that contributed to his death. A pathologist called as a defense witness testified that he believed it was cardiac arrest rather than asphyxia that caused the death.
Defense attorney Todd Sanders also challenged the prosecution's contention that security camera video of the incident showed the teen was restrained and compressed for four minutes.
"This has been an ordeal for everyone involved...there are no winners here. Our prayers are with the [name omitted] family," Sanders said.
The facility serves children age 7 to 17 who have emotional, behavioral or psychiatric disorders, its website says.
A 15-year-old boy at a behavioral health care center in Virginia has died, and police charged an employee in connection with the death.
Loudoun County, Virginia, police said William P. Herndon, 47, of Martinsburg, West Virginia, was indicted on charges of involuntary manslaughter in the death of the boy, who was from Norfolk, Virginia.
The victim, who was a patient at the facility, "lost his life after being restrained by the employee," the sheriff's office said. The incident occurred Nov. 19.
The name of the juvenile victim was not released. The reason the victim was at the North Spring Behavioral Healthcare facility, in Leesburg, Virginia, also was not released.
An autopsy found that the teen died of "positional asphyxiation."
North Spring Behavioral Healthcare serves children age 7 to 17 who have emotional, behavioral or psychiatric disorders, the facility's website says.
Herndon was arrested Tuesday and is being held without bail at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center.