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Prosecutor says Ill. EMTs failed to follow protocol when handling patient who died

The restraint policy states that a patient is never to be transported in a prone position and calls for regular circulation checks


Lifestar Ambulance Service EMTs Peggy Finley and Peter Cadigan are facing murder charges in the death of Earl Moore Jr.

Photo/Sangamon County Sheriff Dept.

Body camera footage has been released in the case of two Illinois EMTs charged with first-degree murder following the death of a 35-year-old patient in their care.

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 Leila Merrill

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Sangamon County State’s Attorney Dan Wright said that Lifestar Ambulance Service EMTs Peggy Finley and Peter Cadigan did not follow proper protocols when they placed Earl Moore Jr. face-down on a stretcher in December.

Moore’s death led to murder charges against the two EMS providers.

WICS/WRSP reported that “Lifestar follows Springfield Memorial’s protocols and procedures. One of those protocols prohibits a patient from being transported in the prone position.”

Wright said those protocols were not followed in this case.

Springfield Memorial’s patient restraint policy states that a patient is never to be transported in a prone position. It also says that when a patient is restrained, circulation checks need to be performed every 15 minutes on all restrained limbs.

During last week’s hearing, the prosecution presented evidence and claimed Finley and Cadigan did not take Moore’s vitals while he was being transported.

In a recording of a call between Finley and the hospital emergency department, she is heard saying she wasn’t going to take vitals because she didn’t want to “poke the bear.”

The next court date for the two EMTs is Feb. 6.

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