Judge drops case against Spotsylvania deputy who shot unarmed Black man

A judge is dismissing the case against a Spotsylvania County, Virginia, sheriff’s deputy who was set to go on trial for shooting an unarmed Black man multiple times and critically injuring him in April 2021.

A Virginia grand jury indicted Deputy David Turbyfill on a felony charge of recklessly handling his firearm in the shooting that left Brown in the hospital for a month.

A judge waived the charge on Thursday, saying the prosecution failed to make its case.

Isaiah Brown, 32, was shot by a Spotsylvania county deputy in April of 2021. (Courtesy David Haynes)

Turbyfill, who is white, gave Brown a ride after his car broke down at a gas station several miles from his home.

His attorneys said after getting home, Brown called 911 and reported a fight with his brother, saying, “I’m about to kill my brother.”

Turbyfill responded to the emergency call, and shot Brown as he stood in the road, mistaking his phone for a gun.

Brown spent 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.”

“Even though Mr. Brown was unarmed, posed no danger to the deputy and was on the phone with 911 at the time,” Haynes said.

Haynes added, “His life has been changed forever.”

The sheriff’s department released bodycam footage and 911 audio of the shooting in the days after it happened.

Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

Thomas Robertson

Thomas Robertson is an Associate Producer and Web Writer/Editor at WTOP. After graduating in 2019 from James Madison University, Thomas moved away from Virginia for the first time in his life to cover the local government beat for a small daily newspaper in Zanesville, Ohio.

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