- Two paramedics have been charged with the death of a patient who was strapped face down to a stretcher.
- Earl L. Moore, Jr. died after the incident on December 18, 2022.
- The paramedics, Peter Cadigan and Peggy Finley, are both charged with first degree murder.
Illinois prosecutors have charged two paramedics with first-degree murder in the death of one of their patients, a man in alcohol withdrawal who died after paramedics strapped him face down on a stretcher.
Peter Cadigan, 50, and Peggy Finley, 44, are both being held in Sangamon County Jail on $1million bond. They each have preliminary hearings scheduled for Jan. 19, according to court records.
The Springfield Police Department said the incident began around 2 a.m. on Dec. 18, 2022, when officers arrived at a residence and discovered the 911 caller “was suffering from hallucinations due to alcohol withdrawal. “, according to a statement from the police.
Body camera footage released by the police department shows the man, who has since been identified as Earl L. Moore, Jr., apparently uncomfortable and speaking incoherently to officers. Moore can be seen throughout the footage writhing on his bed and later on the floor.
Shortly after, paramedics arrived at the house and asked the man, who was lying on the ground, to walk to the ambulance.
“You’re going to have to walk, because we’re not carrying you,” Finley told the patient. “Because I’m seriously not in the mood for that stupid s—.”
Finley also ordered the patient to “get up, or you can stay here.”
The officers eventually helped Moore out of the house. Then an officer and Cadigan placed Moore on a stretcher, where he lay face down. Cadigan and Finley can then be seen in the footage wrapping a sheet and straps around Moore, still face down on the stretcher.
The Springfield Police Department statement said officers were “later notified that the patient died after arriving at the hospital.”
Illinois State Police have resumed the investigation into Moore’s death.
‘Indifference is not a crime,’ says one of paramedics’ lawyers
An autopsy report cited by CNN listed Moore’s cause of death as “compressive and positional asphyxia due to being restrained face down on a paramedic transport bed/stretcher by straps tightened across his back and lower body. body in a context of lethargy and underlying chronic alcoholism”.
Finley’s attorney, W. Scott Hanken, told Insider that his client intends to plead not guilty to the murder charge, adding that he has “no idea on earth how anyone in good faith could bring these charges based on what I saw”, and that his client did not commit any crime that night.
Asked about Finley’s remarks overheard on body camera footage, Hanken said “indifference is not a crime”.
“If they criminalize someone with a bad attitude, then they better build bigger prisons,” he said. “Call it bedside, call it what you want. That’s the red herring here. Whether or not someone comes across as indifferent or indifferent or comes across as a b—-, it’s open to the everyone’s interpretation.”
Hanken noted that police body camera footage only shows the officers and Cadigan placing Moore on the stretcher — not Finley. He said Finley only placed the sheet over Moore and pulled one of the stretcher straps up around Moore. Hanken said Cadigan was the one who could be seen in the footage laying down and tightening the straps.
“There is no evidence that she committed any affirmative act that could in any way be attributed or considered responsible for the death of this gentleman,” Hanken said.
Cadigan’s court records did not name any legal representative or indicate whether he retained an attorney. The Springfield Police Department noted in its statement that officers at the scene were not trained or equipped to help transport patients and relied on paramedics to keep him safe.
“Springfield police responding to this incident recognized the patient’s need and requested medical assistance for the patient,” the statement said, adding that paramedics “acted regardless of the patient’s condition.”
Hanken declined to comment on the specific actions officers took that night, asking only, “Have you ever heard – ever – of a scenario where a first-degree murder occurred in front of three law enforcement officers. order and they did nothing?”