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The FBI is investigating the alleged beating death of a disabled inmate in Virginia

Charles Givens pictured around the late 1980s or early 1990s. A lawsuit by his sister alleges that Givens, an inmate at the Marion Correctional Treatment Center, was beaten to death by prison officers in 2022.
Kymberly Hobbs
Charles Givens pictured around the late 1980s or early 1990s. A lawsuit by his sister alleges that Givens, an inmate at the Marion Correctional Treatment Center, was beaten to death by prison officers in 2022.

The FBI is investigating the alleged beating death last year of Charles Givens — a disabled inmate at Virginia's Marion Correctional Treatment Center. NPR first wrote about this case last month in a story that detailed allegations of abuse Givens may have suffered while incarcerated at Marion.

In an email to his sister, Kymberly Hobbs, confirming the ongoing investigation, the FBI said it has identified Givens "as a possible victim of a crime."

Neither the FBI nor the Justice Department responded to NPR's request for comment on this development.

"I'm happy with any and all investigation into my brothers death. It's long overdue," Hobbs said in an emailed statement to NPR.

Givens' death is the subject of a federal lawsuit filed in February by Hobbs and her attorneys, Paul Stanley and Mark Krudys. The suit alleges that five prison officers participated, to some degree, in the savage beating of the 52-year-old inmate on Feb. 5, 2022. This beating ultimately led to his death, the lawsuit alleges.

In their answer to Hobbs' lawsuit, the five officers have denied any wrongdoing. None of them have been criminally charged.

The Associated Press first reported that the FBI was looking into the Givens case.

NPR independently confirmed the FBI's correspondence with Hobbs.

An investigation by federal authorities into Givens' death is a significant development in a case that's largely gone nowhere with state and local agencies.

Hobbs has said there's been no interest in any meaningful investigation into the death of her brother due to his 2010 murder conviction and because he was intellectually disabled.

Both Hobbs and Stanley say they believe Marion officials and the Virginia Department of Corrections were never interested in investigating Givens' death even after a medical examination indicated he died from blunt force trauma.

An investigation by the Virginia State Police has since slowed to a crawl and a grand jury declined to bring a criminal indictment last year.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Jaclyn Diaz
Jaclyn Diaz is a reporter on Newshub.