MADISON — An area man who was in the custody of the Norfolk Police Division died Wednesday morning at Faith Regional Health Services following a struggle with a Norfolk police officer.
Madison County Attorney Joe Smith said Andre Larone Murphy, Sr., 42, was pronounced dead at about 8:03 a.m.
Norfolk police officers responded at the Norfolk Super 8 Motel at about 6:50 a.m. following a series of 911 calls, Smith said.
A responding officer then had contact with Murphy, whose last known address was in Seward, he said.
“There was a scuffle at the (motel). (Murphy) was taken to Faith Regional and died shortly thereafter. The officer was also slightly injured and was taken to the hospital as well. There was no weapon involved as far as firearms, knives or anything. ... It was nonlethal-type force,” Smith said.
The officer did “attempt to deploy a Taser” at one point, Smith said.
Because Murphy’s death occurred while he was in the custody of the Norfolk Police Division, Smith said he, along with the state patrol, would lead the investigation.
“As we speak, there are a great number of state patrol officers working on it. I know a tremendous amount of work has been done at this time. A great number of people have been interviewed, evidence has been seized and video has been seized,” Smith said.
Smith said he had seen video, but he declined to describe the nature of that or the evidence. The name of the injured officer has not been released.
“I’m being somewhat circumspective for this reason — there will be a grand jury trial. ... The statute requires a grand jury, and the statute requires that the investigation be treated as if it was a homicide investigation,” Smith said.
As of Wednesday afternoon, there had not yet been a date for when the grand jury would be seated, but Smith said he planned to meet with a judge soon and a date would be announced within the next few days.
“This will be a very thorough, professional investigation, and the grand jury will be very thoroughly presented as well,” Smith said.
An autopsy has been ordered and will take place in Omaha on Thursday morning.