Judge approves trial of Springfield paramedics charged with manslaughter in patient’s death – NBC Chicago

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Two Illinois emergency medical workers will face first-degree murder charges after they suffocated a stretcher-bound patient, a judge ruled Friday.

Peggy Finley and Peter Cadigan are charged in the December death of 35-year-old Earl Moore in Springfield. They pleaded not guilty Friday and are being held in the Sangamon County Jail on $1 million bail each.

If convicted, Finley, 44, and Cadigan, 50, could face 20 to 60 years in prison. Sangamon County Circuit Court Judge Rylen Grishaw issued his decision after a 3.5-hour preliminary hearing.

Springfield police first responded to Moore’s home around 2 a.m. on Dec. 18.

Finley and Cadigan were invited to the apartment. Body camera video shows officers trying to get Moore up to get medical attention, then placing him in a prone position on a stretcher. Cadigan, the EMS technician, bandaged him, and Finley, the paramedic, put a blanket over him.

Finley later told hospital staff and an investigator that Moore was combative.

An autopsy revealed Moore died of “positional asphyxiation” and suffered two broken ribs, which State’s Attorney Dan Wright said at a hearing Friday attributed to Moore being tightly bound face down.

“There’s no medical reason to transport someone prone,” Wright said.

Referring to the video, Wright continued: “Obviously, Mr. Moore is not a fighter. He was the complete opposite of fighting. He needed help. For them, covering up by telling the hospital staff that they had a fight would lead to their confidence.

“If it goes to trial, the state will have to prove that when they put him on the stretcher, they thought, ‘I think I’m killing him,'” said Justin Kuehn, one of Cadigan’s attorneys. “Were their actions reckless?” It’s just another day.

As the defendants entered the courtroom, Finley saw seven family members sitting in the front row. She sat down at the defense table, tears streaming down her face as she looked at her family and said, “I’m sorry.

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