The trials for five Aurora police officers and paramedics charged in connection with Elijah McClain’s death will be split up into three separate proceedings, an Adams County District Court judge ruled this week.
A state grand jury convened by Colorado’s attorney general in September 2021 indicted Aurora police officers Nathan Woodyard and Randy Roedema, former officer Jason Rosenblatt and paramedics Jeremy Cooper and Lt. Peter Cichuniec on 32 combined counts related to McClain’s violent arrest and death in August 2019.
While the five defendants were indicted under one proceeding, “the factual circumstances do not neatly follow a typical codefendant criminal matter,” Judge Mark Douglas Warner wrote in Wednesday’s order.
Woodyard — who put McClain in the chokehold that caused the 23-year-old to lose consciousness — will be tried alone, Warner ruled. Rosenblatt and Roedema, who assisted in restraining McClain, will be tried together in a separate proceeding.
And Cooper and Cichuniec, who injected McClain with the sedative ketamine, will face their own trial.