NewsElijah McClain | 360 In-Depth Coverage


Elijah McClain verdict: 1 officer convicted, 1 acquitted

After two days of deliberations, the Adams County jury in the first Elijah McClain trial came back with a verdict.
Posted: 5:15 PM, Oct 10, 2023
Updated: 2023-10-12 20:14:22-04
Randy Roedema and Jason Rosenblatt

Editor's note: After two days of deliberations, the Adams County jury in the first Elijah McClain trial came back with a verdict.

The jury found Aurora Officer Randy Roedema, who is currently suspended, guilty of criminally negligent homicide and third-degree assault. Former Aurora Police Officer Jason Rosenblatt was acquitted of all charges in connection with the Aug. 24, 2019 arrest and death of the 23-year-old McClain.

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Elijah McClain | 360 In-Depth Coverage

Jury finds one Aurora officer guilty, one not guilty in 1st Elijah McClain trial

Robert Garrison
4:54 PM, Oct 12, 2023


ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. — After a nearly month-long trial, the fate of two Aurora police officers charged in the 2019 death of Elijah McClain is now in the hands of an Adams County jury.

Closing arguments in the first of three trials wrapped up Tuesday and the case was given to the jury, who will decide if Randy Roedema and Jason Rosenblatt are guilty of manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and second-degree assault in connection with the Aug. 24, 2019 arrest of the 23-year-old McClain, who died days later. Jury deliberations lasted all day Wednesday and are scheduled to continue Thursday.

McClain was stopped in Aurora while walking home from a store wearing a face mask after a 911 caller reported a "sketchy" man in the neighborhood that night. McClain was put in a neck hold and pinned down by police before being injected by paramedics with a powerful sedative.

That neck hold, which lasted only seconds, is at the center of the case. But ketamine administration by paramedics is being argued by the defense as the “ultimate cause of death here.”

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Defense attorneys for the first two officers to go on trial closed their case Friday without calling any witnesses. During closing arguments Tuesday, they disputed the prosecution's assertions that the defendants used excessive force and disregarded signs that McClain was in medical distress. Defense attorney Don Sisson claimed Roedema used "reasonable and efficient force" and McClain died from a ketamine overdose.

"In this case, there is no evidence Roedema caused Mr. McClain's death. Zero. All three medical experts say it was ketamine that killed him," Sisson told the jury. Defense attorney Harvey Steinberg echoed the same argument for his client, Rosenblatt, and claimed the prosecution is using his client as a scapegoat.

Elijah McClain

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Elijah McClain case: After closing arguments, case goes to jury

Stephanie Butzer
6:07 PM, Oct 10, 2023

Prosecutors spent two weeks painting a picture of excessive force by officers who used a neck hold and pinned McClain to the ground after stopping him as he walked home along a street.

Special Assistant Attorney General Duane Lyons argued during closing statements that if not for the actions of Roedema and Rosenblatt, McClain would still be alive. He told the jury that McClain was in respiratory distress before the ketamine was administered and its use was encouraged by the defendants.

Jury deliberations begin in trial of two officers charged in death of Elijah McClain

"Officers never checked vitals and failed to inform paramedics of McClain’s condition," Lyons told the jury.

The district attorney initially did not to pursue criminal charges, but the case was re-examined in 2020, resulting in a criminal indictment and becoming a rallying cry for protests against police brutality against Black people following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

After both sides presented their closing arguments, Judge Mark Warner dismissed the jury for deliberations. It’s unknown when the jury will return with a verdict but they were instructed to return to court Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. to resume deliberations.

If convicted, the defendants could spend more than a decade in prison.

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Katie Parkins
1:28 PM, Oct 06, 2023

A third Aurora officer, Nathan Woodyard, who put the 23-year-old in a carotid hold, is set to go to trial later this month. Paramedics Jeremy Cooper and Peter Cichuniec are scheduled for trial in November.

The Associated Press contributed to this story

Day 1 - Wednesday, Sept. 20
Day 2 - Thursday, Sept. 21
Day 3 - Friday, Sept. 22
(No court on Monday, Sept. 25)
Day 4 - Tuesday, Sept. 26
Day 5 - Wednesday, Sept. 27
Day 6 - Thursday, Sept. 28
Day 7 - Friday, Sept. 29
Day 8- Tuesday, Oct. 3
Day 9- Wednesday, Oct. 4
Day 10- Thursday, Oct. 5
Day 11- Friday, Oct. 6
Day 12 - Tuesday, Oct. 10

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