Boulder County, Colorado Sheriff’s Deputies Jim O’Brien and Adam Lunn have been charged with manslaughter after a detainee they were transporting became gravely ill during a transport to a detox facility.
On September 9, 2018, Deputies Lunn and O’Brien were working a special assignment in downtown Boulder. They were assigned to a transport van with the specific job of transporting any intoxicated individuals to an addiction recovery center, where they could sober up safely.
Deputies were called by Boulder police officers to transport an intoxicated man the officers had placed in custody. After they arrived and assumed custody, the deputies transported the man to the recovery center some 16 minutes away. The man was not physically combative so there was no force used by either deputy. But when they arrived and opened the back of the van they knew something was wrong – the man was unconscious and did not seem to be breathing. The deputies sprung into action. They started CPR and called for medical help. Initially their resuscitation efforts seemed to work but, unfortunately, almost a month later the man died.
It was determined that the man the deputies were transporting had a blood-alcohol of .35, a potentially fatal level, and had amphetamines in his bloodstream.
Somehow, these deputies, who were just doing their jobs, are now being charged with manslaughter!
Deputy O’Brien is an over 20 year law enforcement veteran. He is married with two young children. Deputy O’Brien’s wife suffered a major stroke last year and is unable to work.
Deputy Lunn is a veteran of the United States Air Force who served in Iraq. He has served with the Boulder County Sheriff’s Department since 2008. Deputy Lunn and his wife are now expecting their first child.
These deputies were doing their job protecting the community and now facing the possibility of years in prison. They are certainly facing an uncertain future for themselves and their families. Their defense costs will be significant.