Two paramedics have been found guilty of criminally negligent homicide in the 2019 death of Elijah McClain. As The Shade Room previously reported, two Colorado police officers went to trial in connection to McClain’s death in October.
Randy Roedema was convicted of criminally negligent homicide and assault, while Jason Rosenblatt was acquitted of reckless manslaughter and assault.
In November, Nathan Woodyard, the officer who arrested McClain, was found not guilty of reckless manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.
RELATED: UPDATE: Colorado Officer Who Allegedly Arrested Elijah McClain Found Not Guilty In Connection To His Death
More Details Regarding The Paramedics’ Verdict In Relation To The Death Of Elijah McClain
According to CNN, Jeremy Cooper and Peter Cichuniec were found guilty of criminally negligent homicide on Friday, December 22.
Additionally, Cichuniec was also convicted of second-degree unlawful administration of drug assault while being found not guilty of second-degree assault resulting in bodily injury.
The outlet reports that Peter Cichuniec was immediately taken into custody.
More Information Regarding The Paramedics’ Testimony
According to CNN, both Coopy and Cichuniec had pled not guilty to their charges. As The Shade Room previously reported, a coroner’s report determined that McClain was injected with high levels of ketamine during his arrest.
This ultimately led McClain to suffer a heart attack while he was being taken to a hospital. He passed away three days later.
Additionally, the autopsy stated that he would still been alive had he not been given the sedative.
During trial proceedings, prosecutors alleged that the medical professionals acted recklessly by giving McClain the drug. Additionally, they alleged the medical professionals did not check McClain’s vitals.
However, the medical professionals defended their use of their drug.
“During our training, we were told numerous times that this is a safe, effective drug,” Cichuniec reportedly told the court, per CNN. “That is the only drug we can carry that can stop what is going on and calm him down so we can control his airway, we can control him and the safety of him, get him to the hospital as quick as we can.”
In response, the prosecution asserted that the medical professionals treated McClain more like a “problem” than a “patient.” Additionally, the prosecution alleged that officials provided McClain with “the worst possible care.”
“This is reckless … It’s intending to cause pain – bodily injury and stupor. It’s not intending to kill, but it is wildly, insanely reckless. It’s the medical equivalent of putting on a blindfold, jumping in a car and hitting the gas as hard as you can,” the prosecution reportedly asserted, per CNN. ”
The key to this case is… how bad it was that the defendants didn’t even try. That when Elijah McClain pleaded, ‘please help me,’ they left him there. They overdosed him on ketamine, they left him there again, and it killed him. And that’s why they’re guilty.”
What Happens From Here
According to CNN, a spokesperson for the McClain family shared a statement following Friday’s verdict.
“We do not know justice until we see sentencing,” MiDian Holmes explained.
Meanwhile, Aurora Fire Rescue Chief Alec Oughton reportedly share his discouragement toward the decision.
“While I appreciate the jury’s diligence, integrity, and public service to ensure a fair trial, I am discouraged that these paramedics have received felony punishment for following their training and protocols in place at the time and for making discretionary decisions while taking split-second action in a dynamic environment,” Oughton explained, per CNN.
According to Colorado Public Radio, Jeremy Cooper and Peter Cichuniec will be sentenced on March 1, 2024.