2 Boulder County deputies appear in court for charges of death of 23-year-old man

BOULDER, Colo. -- Two Boulder County sheriff’s deputies appeared in court Wednesday for an advisory hearing. The two deputies are facing felony charges for the death of a 23-year-old man they were transporting in a sheriff’s van in September of last year.

Deputies James O'Brien, 49, and Adam Lunn, 36, were transporting Demetrius Shankling to a detox center on Sept. 9 after celebrating his birthday. Shankling was found unresponsive and not breathing when they arrived at the Addiction Recovery Center.

Investigators said the deputies contributed Shankling’s death by handcuffing him and putting him a confined space in the van on his stomach. This is a violation of the procedures for the safe transportation of prisoners.

Sheriff Joe Pelle says the deputies have been trained not to handcuff someone and put them in that position.

RELATED: Arrest affidavit for James O'Brien

RELATED: Arrest affidavit for Adam Lunn

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