Paramedic Involved in Elijah McClain’s Death Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison
Peter Cichuniec and Elijah McClain

Paramedic Involved in Elijah McClain’s Death Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison

One of the two Aurora paramedics convicted in the 2019 death of Elijah McClain was sentenced to five years in prison in a Colorado courtroom on Friday.

Peter Cichuniec, convicted in late December of criminally negligent homicide alongside Aurora paramedic Jeremy Cooper, was also found guilty of second-degree assault by unlawful administration of drugs, while Cooper was acquitted of that charge.

Cichuniec, sentenced to a minimum of five years for the assault charge – the judge’s lowest possible sentence under guidelines – also received a one-year prison term for the criminally negligent homicide charge, to be served concurrently.

McClain, a 23-year-old Black man, was walking home in Aurora in August 2019 when officers were called to respond to a report of a ‘suspicious person’ wearing a ski mask.

When officers arrived on the scene, they tackled and forcibly restrained McClain. Paramedics then injected him with ketamine, a powerful sedative. However, by the time he was in the ambulance, McClain had no pulse. He went into cardiac arrest and passed away six days later.

According to the Adams County coroner, McClain’s cause of death was listed as “complications of ketamine administration following forcible restraint.”

In total, five first responders faced criminal charges in connection with McClain’s tragic death.

Former officer Randy Roedema was convicted of criminally negligent homicide and third-degree assault in October and later sentenced to one year and two months.

Officers Nathan Woodyard and Jason Rosenblatt were acquitted by juries.

However, an independent probe found that Aurora police had no justification for stopping or using lethal force in their confrontation with McClain.

While a grand jury indictment identified Cooper as the medic on the call and responsible for crew and patient safety during McClain’s detainment, it was Cichuniec who ordered the ketamine from the ambulance. Cooper administered the ketamine to McClain.

Cooper’s sentencing is scheduled for April.

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Simone
Simone is an award-winning communications professional with over seven years of experience. Her passion for writing has led her to serve as Editor-in-Chief at Baller Alert. In her free time, she enjoys trying new restaurants and traveling (to mostly tropical destinations.)

About Simone

Simone is an award-winning communications professional with over seven years of experience. Her passion for writing has led her to serve as Editor-in-Chief at Baller Alert. In her free time, she enjoys trying new restaurants and traveling (to mostly tropical destinations.)

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