Judge sentences former paramedic to prison for the death of Elijah McCain

A judge sentenced a former Colorado paramedic to five years in prison for contributing to the 2019 death of Elijah McCain. 

Peter Cichuniec, 51, a former lieutenant in Aurora Fire and Rescue was convicted Friday of criminally negligent homicide and second degree assault for the unlawful administer of drugs that eventually killed McCain. 

Jeremy Cooper, the paramedic working with Cichuniec, is scheduled to be sentenced in April.

Supporters of Cichuniec packed the courtroom to tell Judge Judge Marck Douglas Warner that Cichuniec was a caring person. 

Speaking to supporters, Cichuniec said that he wished McCain was alive and that he wished that he had done things differently. He was dressed in a striped prison uniform.

Shenee McClain, Elijah McCain’s mother, said the paramedics murdered her son. She raised one of her hands in a closed fist in the air as she left the court.

McClain’s mother told the court that everyone who was involved in the death of her son on that night back in August of 2019 didn’t show any remorse.

“Our communities cannot know peace until we see the justice departments hold their enforcers accountable,” she said. “My son will never be a dad, an uncle, or a grandfather. Randy Roedema stole my son’s life. All the belated apologies in the world cannot remove my son’s blood from Randy’s hands.” 

A judge sentenced Roedema to 14 months in the Adams County Jail and four years probation.

Elijah McCain, a 23-year-old massage therapist, was walking from a convenience store after buying a soft drink and something to eat, when someone called police and telling cops he looked “sketchy” because he wore a mask to cover his face.

He wore a ski mask, which his mother said he wore because he was anemic and often cold. He was not suspected of committing a crime. â€œHe wasn’t fighting,†his mother insists. “He was handcuffed and on the ground for fifteen minutes. He was begging for his life. The only moving he’s doing is vomiting, trying to breathe,” she said.

Paramedics injected McCain with 500 milligrams of ketamine. It was too much for McClain, who was 5′ 7″ tall and weighed 140 pounds. He died later in a local hospital.

Interim Chief of Police Vanessa Wilson fired Randy Roedema, a lieutenant of the Aurora police department and three others officers for mocking McClain’s speaking pattern. A judge sentenced Roedema to 14 months in the county jail.

The City of Aurora paid McCain’s family $15 million dollars for the murder of their son.