Two Illinois EMS workers have been charged with murder in connection with the death of a 35-year-old man in their charge, who they allegedly strapped face down on a stretcher.
Peter Cadigan, 50, and Peggy Finley, 44, LifeStar emergency medical workers, were charged with first-degree murder in the December 18 death of Earl L. Moore Jr., the prosecutor announced Tuesday. Sangamon County State, Dan Wright.
Moore died after he was taken to an ambulance in the prone position, meaning face down, and straps were attached to his back and lower body to hold him on the gurney, Wright said.
The Springfield Police Department had responded to a home around North 11th Street in the state capital around 2 a.m. after receiving a call about people inside with firearms. When officers arrived, a resident said the person who made the 911 call was suffering from «hallucinations due to alcohol withdrawal,» police said in a statement. Press release.
Officers found that individual, Moore, and «quickly realized the patient was in need of medical assistance,» police said.
An ambulance was called and arrived at the scene at 2:18 a.m.
A paramedic motioned for Moore to walk to the ambulance, but body camera imagesAlso posted on Tuesday, it showed she was «unable to walk and medical staff were not offering any assistance,» police said.
The three police officers helped Moore across the house to a stretcher outside.
Footage from the officer’s body camera showed EMS workers placed Moore on a gurney in a prone position, according to police.
Moore died at the hospital at 3:14 a.m., Sangamon County Coroner Jim Allmon said at Tuesday’s news conference.
An autopsy was performed and Moore’s cause of death was determined to be compression and position asphyxia «due to being restrained face down face down on a paramedic transport stretcher with straps tightened across the back,» Allmon said.
His death was listed as a homicide.
When police were notified that Moore had died, Chief Ken Scarlette requested an independent investigation by the Illinois State Police.
Wright said that based on the findings of the ISP’s ongoing investigation and the autopsy report, he filed first-degree murder charges against Cadigan and Finley.
They are currently being held in the Sangamon County Jail on $1 million bond each.
Wright read the charges to reporters, saying the defendants «acted without legal justification» by transporting Moore face down and placing «more stringent restraints» on his back and lower body.
He said they should have known, «based on their training, experience, and the surrounding circumstances, that such acts would create a substantial likelihood of serious bodily harm or death.»
The prosecutor said they face a range of 20 to 60 years in prison if convicted. It is not immediately clear if they have attorneys.
An attorney for the couple did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Her next court date is set for January 19.
The LifeStar ambulance service did not respond to NBC News’ request for comment.