Statement Regarding the Investigation into the Death of Othel Moore

June 28, 2024

The Cole County Sheriff’s Department has completed its investigation into the death of Othel Moore at Jefferson City Correctional Center in Jefferson City, Missouri. Moore died Dec. 8, 2023, while in a restraint system designed to prevent injury to himself and others. The department has discontinued use of the restraint system in which Moore was held.

At the conclusion of the outside law enforcement investigation, the Cole County Prosecuting Attorney has elected to press felony charges against five former corrections staff members in connection to the circumstances surrounding Moore’s death. All are presumed innocent pending the outcome of the court process.

The Missouri Department of Corrections has cooperated with outside law enforcement throughout the investigation, beginning with the reporting of Moore’s death, and will continue to cooperate. In addition, the department previously conducted a separate internal investigation. As a result of the two investigations, ten people involved in the incident are no longer employed by the department or its contractors.

We have taken and will continue to take steps necessary to mitigate safety risks to everyone in our facilities.

We take seriously our responsibility for creating the safest environment possible and will not tolerate behaviors or conditions that endanger the wellbeing of Missourians working or living in our facilities.  The department has begun implementing body-worn cameras in restrictive-housing units at maximum-security facilities, starting with Jefferson City Correctional Center, to bolster both security and accountability.

Moore, 38, was serving a 30-year sentence for convictions of second-degree domestic assault, possession of a controlled substance, two counts of first-degree robbery, two counts of armed criminal action, and violence to an inmate or employee of the Department of Corrections.