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Springfield paramedics charged with murder in man’s death

Two paramedics from Springfield are facing murder charges after a patient they strapped face down on a gurney died at the hospital, prosecutors said.

Peter Cadigan, 50, and Peggy Finley, 40, are each charged with one count of first-degree murder in the death of Earl Moore Jr on Dec. 18, Sangamon County State’s Attorney Dan Wright said.

Moore, 35, died of “compressional and positional asphyxia due to prone face down restraint on a paramedic transportation stretcher by tightened straps across the back,” according to the county coroner. His death was ruled a homicide.

Springfield police officers called paramedics to Moore’s home about 2 a.m. on Dec. 18 because he was suffering from hallucinations due to alcohol withdrawal, according to a statement from the department. The arrival of the paramedics was captured on the officers’ body-worn cameras.

When Cadigan and Finley arrived they instructed Moore to walk outside to the ambulance. The officer’s footage shows that Moore was unable to walk and the paramedics didn’t offer any assistance, police said. The officers took turns helping Moore walk through the home and onto the stretcher outside.

Body-camera footage shows the paramedics strap Moore to the stretcher before taking him to the hospital, where he died, police said.

Based on their experience, the paramedics should have looked at the circumstances of the situation and known that strapping Moore face down “would create a substantial probability of great bodily harm or death,” Wright said.

Finley and Cadigan were arrested Jan. 9. They are being held on $1-million bond.

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