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Ill. EMT charged in patient’s death out on bond

Springfield EMT Peggy Finley faces murder charges related to “compressional and positional asphyxia” of a patient


Sangamon County Jail

This is not the first high-profile case of charges filed against EMS providers in recent years. In “Malpractice or murder: When do EMS providers cross the line from negligence to crime?”, Page, Wolfberg & Wirth attorneys Doug Wolfberg, Esq., and Steve Wirth, Esq., break down the facts of the case and the important lessons to be learned for EMS professionals nationwide, and explain why bodycam footage carries substantial weight in determining criminal charges. The two also discuss how a guilty verdict comes down to a “guilty state of mind.”

Are first-degree murder charges warranted in this case? Should EMS providers be protected from criminal charges when caring for patients? Share your thoughts with us at to be included in our ongoing coverage of this case.

By Bill Carey

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Springfield EMT Peggy Finley, who is accused of murder in the death of Earl Moore Jr., posted bond after an Illinois appeals court ruled that the trial court made an error when it refused to lower her bond from $1 million to $600,000, WICS reported

Finley and EMT Peter Cadigan were arrested after an autopsy report found a patient died in their care from “compressional and positional asphyxia” due to being prone, facedown, and restrained to a stretcher by tightened straps, during a December call. 

The Sangamon County State’s Attorney Dan Wright said Earl L. Moore Jr. died while in the care of Finley and Cadigan. Police were called to a house where Moore was and determined he was in distress and requested EMS.

Wright said when Cadigan and Finley arrived, they placed Moore face down on a stretcher and restrained him across his back and lower body.

[RELATED: Is it murder? More EMS1 readers react to EMTs charged in patient’s death]

The appellate court agreed to reduce Finley’s bond after her lawyers appealed the latest decision. The appellate court justices said the circuit court abused its discretion in denying Finley’s motion to reduce her bond.

Finley was able to post 10% of the bond and was released from jail. Cadigan remains in jail with his bond set at $1 million.

[RELATED: EMS industry reacts after EMTs charged with first degree murder]