Jurors have started deliberating in the trial of two Aurora police officers, Randy Roedema and Jason Rosenblatt, who are facing charges in connection with the death of Elijah McClain over four years ago. The officers are accused of reckless manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, and assault. This trial marks the first in the killing of McClain to be held in Adams County District Court.
McClain, a 23-year-old, was approached by officers on August 24, 2019, after a 911 caller reported him as a suspicious person. The encounter quickly escalated, with the officers forcefully arresting McClain and using a carotid hold on him. Subsequently, paramedics injected McClain with a large dose of ketamine, leading to a heart attack from which he never recovered.
Prosecutors argue that the officers’ actions during the arrest contributed to McClain’s death, while the defense maintains that the paramedics’ administration of ketamine caused his demise. The pathologist who conducted McClain’s autopsy could not definitively determine whether the officers’ actions played a role in his death.
Jurors began deliberating after closing arguments were presented on Tuesday. A separate trial for officer Nathan Woodyard is scheduled to begin on Friday, and the paramedics, Jeremy Cooper and Peter Cichuniec, are set to face trial in November.