Boulder County Sheriff Deputies Charged with Manslaughter

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Sheriff Deputy Adam Lunn (Photo courtesy of Boulder County)
Sheriff Deputy James O’Brien (Photo courtesy of Boulder County)









On February 4, 2019, the Boulder County District Attorney’s office released the findings of an investigation into the death of Demetrius Shankling.

The report states that Boulder County Sheriff Deputies James O’Brien and Adam Lunn were each charged with one count of Manslaughter, a class four felony, in the death of Demetrius Shankling.

On September 9, 2018, Shankling was found highly intoxicated. When placed in the the transport vehicle, headed to the Addiction Recovery Center (ARC), “the deputies handcuffed Mr. Shankling and placed him on his stomach in a small compartment within a transport van, although they had been trained not to transport individuals in this manner. Mr. Shankling was found unresponsive after sixteen minutes in the van, never regained consciousness, and died twenty-seven days later on October 6, 2018,” according to a press release from the Boulder County DA’s office.

After a thorough investigation by the Boulder County Investigation Team, Boulder County Sheriff Deputies O’Brien and Lunn were charged with Manslaughter.

District Attorney Michael Dougherty stated, “I appreciate that Sheriff Pelle made the
decision to activate the Boulder County Investigation Team to conduct the investigation into this tragic incident. The members of the team conducted a very thorough investigation, as did Coroner Emma Hall and her staff. 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.”

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