The two EMS personnel accused of killing a man in their care who passed away in Springfield, Illinois, last month after being transferred strapped firmly facedown on a stretcher have entered a not guilty plea.
On January 9, Peter J. Cadigan, 50, and Peggy J. Finley, 44, were accused of killing Earl Moore, Jr., 35, on December 18. According to Decatur, Illinois’ NBC affiliate WAND, they showed up in court on Friday afternoon.
Moore was in a home when police summoned an ambulance because he was experiencing medical problems. According to authorities, a house resident admitted to officers that he was going through alcohol withdrawal and experiencing hallucinations.
According to Sangamon County State’s Attorney Dan Wright, Moore passed away soon after being strapped to a stretcher in the prone position with his lower body restrained by tightened straps by EMS personnel.
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The county coroner said that Moore’s death was a homicide caused by compressional and positional asphyxia “due to prone facedown restraint on a paramedic transportation cot/stretcher by tightened straps across the back.”
The two showed up in Sangamon County Circuit Court on Friday morning for a preliminary hearing.
With a $1 million bail, both were held in the Sangamon County jail.
According to Wright, they may spend 20 to 60 years in prison if found guilty. It was unclear right away if they had attorneys.
Moore’s family brought the wrongful death lawsuit on Thursday against Cadigan, Finley, and the ambulance service they worked for, LifeStar Ambulance Services.
Ben Crump, a well-known civil rights lawyer, who represents them, claimed that this case is “unlike anything we’ve seen in America.”
The incident’s officer body camera footage, which the police had made public, indicated that EMS personnel did not help Moore, who was unable to walk, get to the stretcher. The video shows Cadigan and Finley lying face down on it after cops helped him outside.
“When you look at that video, they offer no humanity to Earl Moore Jr., And that’s why this case is so unique,” Crump said at a news conference Thursday. “That’s why people all across America are shocked that they would treat an incapacitated man like they did.”