BOULDER, COLO. – (9 News) – Ex-cops James O’Brien and Adam Lunn were convicted last week in the 2018 death of 23-year-old Demetrius Shankling. Shankling died after being placed face down and handcuffed in a transport police van.
Shankling had a blood alcohol content level of .352 and had amphetamines in his system around the time of death, the report says. According to a BAC chart from nonprofit Aware Awake Alive, a .352 blood-alcohol content is life-threatening. According to the pathology report, Shankling’s manner of death was a homicide caused by positional asphyxiation with the combined toxic effects of ethanol and amphetamine.
“This jury verdict is justice,” said District Attorney Michael Dougherty. “But for the acts of defendant James O’Brien and defendant Adam Lunn, Demetrius Shankling would be alive today. Instead, because of them, the 23rd birthday he celebrated that night was his last. The guilty verdicts reflect what members of law enforcement, including Sheriff Joe Pelle, immediately recognized about the actions of these two individuals on September 9, 2018. They are fully responsible for the death of Demetrius. It was a difficult trial, but our team was honored to fight for justice for the victim and his family. We appreciate the jury’s service. They reached the right and just outcome.”
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