Illinois EMTs Facing Murder Charges For Death of Patient

Two Illinois EMTs have been charged with first degree murder in the death of a patient they transported late last year. Peter J. Cadigan, 50, and Peggy Jill Finley, 44, are being held in Sangamon County Jail on $1 million bonds.

On December 18, 2022, Cadigan and Finley responded to an emergency scene with LifeStar Ambulance Service, Inc. to assist police in Springfield. The patient, Earl L. Moore Jr., 35, was positioned face-down and strapped to the gurney in the presence of police officers. Body cam footage reportedly captured the entire process.

Moore was pronounced dead at Hospital Sisters Health System St. John’s Hospital. According to Sangamon County Coroner Jim Allmon, Moore died of “compressional and positional asphyxia due to prone face-down restraint on a paramedic transportation cot/stretcher by tightened straps across the back.”

The body cam footage was presented today at a press conference held by State’s Attorney Dan Wright.  The State Journal-Register quoted Teresa Haley, president of the Springfield branch of the NAACP as saying:

  • “I believe (the EMTs) were treating (Moore) rougher because he was Black.”
  • “It was hostile to see the video and how they treated him.”
  • “They literally threw (Moore’s) hands behind and strapped him down. He couldn’t move if he wanted to and he’s face down.”
  • “They did not show any compassion whatsoever to this individual. He should be alive today.”
  • “[Three Springfield Police Officers] helped save (Moore’s) life as long as they could. The SPD did an awesome job. Without the body cams, we wouldn’t have this information, so we are grateful they responded the way they did. The officers did what they were supposed to do.”

More on the story.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 45 years of fire service experience and 35 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014, 4th ed. 2022) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
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