Boulder DA Charges Two Sheriffs Deputies With Manslaughter

February 4, 2019
Photo: Boulder County Sheriff Deputies Manslaughter
Sheriff deputies Adum Lunn and Jim O'Brien.

Two Boulder County sheriffs deputies were charged with manslaughter on Monday after prosecutors say they improperly transported a drunk man last year, leading to his death.

Demetrius Shankling was highly intoxicated in downtown Boulder on Sept. 9, 2018, the day he turned 23 years old, according to the affidavit. 

Deputies James O’Brien and Adam Lunn, who were working extra shifts because of back-to-back school events at the University of Colorado, decided to transport him to the Addiction Recovery Center. They handcuffed him and placed him on his stomach in the back of a van.

Boulder District Attorney Michael Dougherty said the two officers had been trained to never transport people that way.

Shankling was found unresponsive after 16 minutes in the van and never regained consciousness. He died 27 days later.

“When these difficult situations arise, it is important to have a shared and unwavering commitment to reaching the right result for the victim, law enforcement and our community,” Dougherty said in a statement.

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