Illinois paramedics charged with first-degree murder to appear in court

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(SPRINGFIELD, Ill.) — Two Illinois paramedics accused of killing a patient are expected to appear in court on Thursday.

Peter J. Cadigan, 50, and Peggy Jill Finley, 45, are facing first-degree murder charges following the death of a man in their care last month. They are being held in the Sangamon County Jail on $1 million bonds. Both defendants are scheduled for a preliminary hearing before a circuit judge in the Sangamon County Courthouse in Springfield on Thursday at 9 a.m. local time, according to online records.

The paramedics were responding to a call for assistance with a man “suffering from hallucinations due to alcohol withdrawal” at a residence in Springfield on Dec. 18, 2022, just after 2 a.m. local time, according to a press release from the Springfield Police Department. The police officers on scene were wearing body cameras, and video from that night was released last week by the Sangamon County States Attorneys Office.

In the video, Finley can be heard yelling at a Black man on the floor, who identified himself as 35-year-old Earl L. Moore, Jr., to “sit up” and “quit acting stupid.” She is also heard telling Moore: “We ain’t carrying you” and “I am seriously not in the mood for this dumb [stuff],” using an expletive in her remark.

Eventually, as the video shows, the officers on scene help Moore walk outside to where an ambulance and a stretcher awaits him. Finley and Cadigan are then seen strapping the patient onto the stretcher in what police called “a prone position,” or lying facedown.

According to police, the officers attempted to provide Moore care after the paramedics “acted indifferently to the patient’s condition.”

“The officers took steps to assist the patient, to get him the care he needed, even waiting on the scene to ensure the medical personnel loaded the patient into the ambulance,” the Springfield Police Department said in its press release last week. “The officers, who are not emergency medical professionals, are not trained nor equipped to provide the necessary medical treatment or to transport patients in this type of situation.”

Moore died after he was transported to a local hospital, according to police.

ABC News has reached out to the respective attorneys for Cadigan and Finley for comment.

A representative for LifeStar Ambulance Service, Inc., which employs Finley and Cadigan, told ABC News last week “no comment,” in regards to the ongoing investigation into the incident. ABC News has since reached out again for comment.

Teresa Haley, president of the Springfield branch of the NAACP, said watching the bodycam footage reminded her of George Floyd, the unarmed 46-year-old Black man who died in handcuffs while being pinned under the knee of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on May 25, 2020.

“They literally threw his hands behind and strapped him down. He couldn’t move if he wanted to and he’s face down,” Haley said at a press conference last week. “They did not show any compassion whatsoever to this individual. He should be alive today.”

Moore’s family have retained nationally-renowned civil rights and personal injury attorneys Ben Crump and Bob Hilliard. They are expected to announce the filing of a wrongful death lawsuit against Cadigan, Finley and LifeStar during a press conference at the NAACP office in Springfield on Thursday at 12:30 p.m. local time.

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