Spotsylvania County deputy indicted in shooting of unarmed Black man

A Virginia deputy who shot and wounded an unarmed Black man after responding to a 911 call about a domestic disturbance in Spotsylvania County has been indicted on a felony charge.

A special grand jury found that David Matthew Turbyfill did “unlawfully and feloniously handle any firearm in a manner so gross, wanton, and culpable as to show a reckless disregard for human life and cause the serious bodily injury of another person.”

That person was Isiah Brown, 32, who was shot on April 21. He spent more than a month in the hospital, and his attorney David Haynes said that Brown’s injuries will “undoubtedly impact him for the rest of his life.”

Haynes said Brown was shot eight times.

The shooting happened outside of Brown’s home after he called 911 amid a dispute with his brother. That audio and body camera footage appeared to show the deputy arriving amid darkness and mistaking a cordless house phone Brown was holding for a gun before opening fire.

Brown’s family and his lawyer are asking for Turbyfill’s termination and a release of all audio communication between the deputy and dispatch, including video from the scene and Turbyfill’s records.

“While this indictment doesn’t take Mr. Brown’s physical pain away, it does signify a measure of justice. We look forward to the successful prosecution of David Turbyfill,” Haynes said in a statement.

The charge against Turbyfill carries a prison term of not less than one year nor more than five years.

WTOP’s has contacted the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office for comment.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She has a master’s degree in interactive journalism from American University and a master’s degree in English Literature from The George Washington University.

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