Paramedic Found Guilty in Elijah Mcclain’s Murder and Given 5-year Prison Sentence!

Elijah McClain, a Black pedestrian who was fatally dosed with ketamine in 2019 during a confrontation with police, was sentenced to five years in jail on Friday for the killing of a Colorado paramedic.

December saw the guilty verdict for criminally negligent homicide handed down by a jury to Peter Cichuniec and Jeremy Cooper. In addition to second-degree assault, Cichuniec was found guilty of drug distribution fraud. A five-year prison term was handed down to Cichuniec on Friday. An April sentencing date has been set for Cooper.

On the evening of August 24, 2019, in Aurora, police approached McClain, 23, after a tip about a suspicious individual in a ski mask was received. According to McClain’s family, he frequently wore the mask due to a blood ailment that made him feel cold.

At last, the cops pinned McClain down, and the medics gave him an injection of the potent tranquilizer ketamine. In the ambulance after being injected, McClain showed no signs of life; six days later, on August 30, he died of cardiac arrest. For Judge Mark Warner, that fateful night was defined by “the death of a young man who was simply walking home from a convenience store.”

“I expect for most people, and certainly this court, it is impossible to un-remember the video images of Elijah McClain’s suffering in the last minutes of his young life,” Warner stated prior to handing down the punishment. ust before sentence, Cichuniec’s wife took the stand to testify on his behalf; she, too, was visibly distressed as she did so. While his two boys offered comments, he kept on sobbing.

Regarding his inability to reassure McClain’s mother that her kid was fine, Cichuniec stated that it “destroys” him in his own words. Sheneen McClain, McClain’s mother, testified that Cichuniec ought to be punished for her son’s demise. Her fist was raised in the air as she exited the courtroom following the sentencing.

Elijah Mcclain's Death

I am not well“. She said, “I never will be” following Friday’s sentencing. As she put it, “they had the opportunity to save him” because her kid was speaking when the paramedics arrived. After “complications of ketamine administration following forcible restraint,” the Adams County coroner determined that McClain had died.

Police in Aurora lacked probable cause to halt and detain McClain using physical force, according to an independent investigation commissioned by the city. Responding paramedics numb him with ketamine “without conducting anything more than a brief visual observation.”

According to Sheneen McClain’s lawyer, Cichuniec knew he administered too much ketamine to McClain, which resulted in him being left prone and vomiting for six minutes. “This sort of callous behavior that kills a young man… is a crime,” the lawyer added.

“Excited delirium” is a “now discredited” disease, and Warner pointed out that Cichuniec and others were taught that it may be fatal. Prior to a change in state health guidelines, EMS in Colorado could use ketamine to treat it. The mandatory minimum penalty for assault is five years in prison, and that is what he handed down to Cichuniec.

Cichuniec received a concurrent five-year and one-year sentence for criminally negligent murder. Parole will be in effect for three years, and he will receive credit for the seventy days he has already spent. After Cichuniec’s sentencing, Attorney General Phil Weiser issued a statement describing the punishment as “one of accountability for the defendant’s criminal negligence” in relation to McClain’s death.

It sends a strong message that no profession, whether a paramedic, a nurse, a police officer, an elected official, or a CEO should be immune from criminal prosecution for actions that violate the law and harm people,” said Weiser. Two of the five first responders who were criminally prosecuted in relation to McClain’s death are Cooper and Cichuniec.

Cooper was in charge of ensuring the safety of both the staff and the patients as the on-call medic. A grand jury indictment from 2021 states that Cooper was charged with injecting the ketamine that Cichuniec had ordered from the ambulance.

Randy Roedema, an Aurora police officer, was given a year and two months in prison after being found guilty of third-degree assault and criminally negligent murder in October. The jurors that heard the case found Officers Nathan Woodyard and Jason Rosenblatt not guilty.

Chief Alec Oughton has stated that following McClain’s death, Aurora Fire Rescue re-established a medical section to enhance supervision of emergency procedures and events and conducted a mandatory evaluation of sedative use.

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