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UPDATE: Arraignments today for five former Missouri corrections officers charged in Othel Moore’s death

UPDATE: Arraignments today for five former Missouri corrections officers charged in Othel Moore’s death

The Cole County Courthouse is located in downtown Jefferson City (2021 file photo from 939 the Eagle)

Cole County’s prosecutor says five former Missouri corrections officers charged in connection with December’s death of Jefferson City Correctional Center inmate Othel Moore Jr. will be in court today (Monday) in Jefferson City.

Prosecutor Locke Thompson tells 939 the Eagle that the five suspects will be arraigned today at the Cole County Courthouse, and that they’re all in custody. Prosecutor Thompson has charged four former Missouri Department of Corrections (DOC) emergency response team (CERT) team members with second degree murder and second degree assault. The four are 34-year-old Justin Leggins of Cadet, 31-year-old Jacob Case of Desloge, and 24-year-old Aaron Brown and 34-year-old Gregory Varner, both of Park Hills. Former Jefferson City Correctional Center Sergeant Bryanne Bradshaw of Jefferson City is charged with involuntary manslaughter.

The incident happened during an early-morning December CERT team search for contraband in a housing unit. Prosecutor Thompson says Moore was pepper sprayed twice during the operation before being placed in a spit hood, leg wrap and restraint chair and transferred to a separate housing unit, where he was left in the hood, wrap and restraint chair for about 30 minutes. Prosecutor Thompson notes multiple witnesses say Moore told corrections officers that he could not breathe.

The Cole County Sheriff’s Department probable cause statement quotes Bradshaw as saying Moore was yelling and screaming and although she couldn’t understand what he was saying, he could have been saying he couldn’t breathe. Bradshaw also is quoted in court documents as saying that she knew the 38-year-old Moore from previous encounters and that she didn’t think he would be making up medical issues if that’s what he was trying to relay.

The medical examiner’s office has ruled Moore’s death as a homicide, with the cause of death as positional asphyxiation.