Paramedics found guilty in death of Elijah McClain

A jury in Colorado has convicted the paramedics involved in Elijah McClain’s death in 2019.

DENVER — A jury in Colorado has convicted the paramedics involved in Elijah McClain’s death in 2019.

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Aurora Fire Rescue paramedics Jeremy Cooper and Peter Cichuniec were found guilty of criminally negligent homicide, according to The Associated Press. Cichuniec was additionally found guilty of second-degree assault.

Both men could face years in prison once they are sentenced, the AP reported.

The jury deliberated for two days after a weeklong trial. Jurors told the judge Friday afternoon that they were stuck regarding one of the charges, the AP reported. The judge told the jurors to keep working on a verdict.

Cooper was not found guilty of two counts of second-degree assault, KDVR reported. Cichuniec was found not guilty of one second-degree assault charge.

McClain, 23, was stopped on his way home from a convenience store on Aug. 24, 2019. by police, after someone called about a suspicious person, the AP reported. An officer claimed that McClain tried to reach for an officer’s gun, which prosecutors disputed. Another officer had put McClain in a neck hold that led to him being unconscious temporarily.

McClain was also pinned down before Cooper injected him with an overdose of ketamine. According to the AP, Cichuniec was a senior officer who said that he made the decision to use the ketamine.

Prosecutors claimed that the paramedics did not conduct basic medical checks on McClain before administering the ketamine, the AP reported. Experts testified that the dose that McClain was given was reportedly too much for someone weighing 140 pounds. Prosecutors also claimed that the paramedics did not monitor him after giving him the ketamine.

McClain died six days later, KDVR reported. A revised statement from the coroner said he died due to ketamine administration following forcible restraint.

It is the third and final trial in McClain’s death. According to The New York Times, three officers were prosecutors in two other trials. One of the officers was convicted of criminally negligent homicide and third-degree assault. That officer is expected to be sentenced on Jan. 5. Two other officers were acquitted.