Illinois paramedics face first-degree murder charges over patient’s death

Two paramedics in Illinois are facing first-degree murder charges after they allegedly did not offer assistance to a patient who eventually died last month.

The Springfield Police Department said in a release on Tuesday that three officers responded to a call on Dec. 18 at about 2:02 a.m. from a person who reported that multiple people were inside a residence with guns. They met with a resident when they arrived who told them that the caller was suffering from hallucinations associated with withdrawal from alcohol.

The officers realized the patient needed medical attention and tried to get information from him while they waited for an ambulance to arrive, the department said.

The ambulance arrived at about 2:18 a.m., and paramedics were led into the residence, according to the release. A female paramedic met with the patient and told him to walk to the ambulance.

The release states that the officers’ body camera footage shows the man was unable to walk to the ambulance himself but the medical personnel did not offer him any help. The officers took turns helping the man through the residence and to a stretcher outside.

Officers’ body camera footage also showed the medical personnel placed the patient on the stretcher in a facedown position and secured him to the stretcher ahead of transporting him to a hospital, according to the release.

The police department was later notified that the man died after arriving at the hospital, the release states. Police Chief Ken Scarlette then requested that the Illinois State Police conduct an independent investigation.

“When those personnel acted indifferently to the patient’s condition, the officers took steps to assist the patient, to get him the care he needed, even waiting on scene to ensure the medical personnel loaded the patient into the ambulance,” the release states. “The officers, who are not emergency medical professionals, are not trained nor equipped to provide the necessary medical treatment or to transport patients in this type of situation.”

Multiple outlets reported that the paramedics charged were 50-year-old Peter Cadigan and 44-year-old Peggy Finley.

Sangamon County State’s Attorney Dan Wright announced their arrests in connection to the death of the man, Earl L. Moore Jr., at a press conference on Tuesday.

Sangamon County Coroner Jim Allmon said at the press conference that Moore’s death was ruled a homicide resulting from asphyxia “due to prone face-down restraint on a paramedic transportation cot/stretcher by tightened straps across the back,” NBC reported.

Wright said the paramedics should have known that their actions would “create a substantial probability of great bodily harm or death,” according to NBC.

They are reportedly each being held at Sangamon County jail on $1 million bail.

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