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3 Walmart workers face manslaughter charge in death of shoplifting suspect

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Nathan Higgins, 35; Crucelis Nunez, 23; and Ruandall Tooko, 58. (Lakeland Police Department.)

LAKELAND, Fla. – Three Walmart employees have been charged with manslaughter in the death of a suspected shoplifter.

Police say Kenneth Wisham, 64, tried to steal nearly $400 worth of DVDs from the Lakeland, Florida, Walmart in February when store workers confronted him, according to WFLA.

Wisham ran but had trouble keeping his pants up, eventually causing him to trip and fall to the ground, police said. The Walmart employees held him down until police could arrive, but Wisham stopped breathing. In critical condition, he was rushed to an area hospital where he later died.

An autopsy found Wisham’s cause of death to be mechanical asphyxia due to restraint. The Medical Examiner’s report also found that he had 15 broken ribs.

Three Walmart employees have been charged in his death – Nathan Allen Higgins, a 35-year-old support manager; Crucelis Nunez, a 23-year-old customer service manager; and Randall Eugene Toko a 58-year-old loss-prevention specialist.

Walmart issued the following statement Friday:

“Our hearts go out to everyone affected by these events. The status of the associated involved continues to be reviewed. We’ll continue working with law enforcement officials, as we have from the beginning, while conducting our own review.”

(Aired February 13, 2016)