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Judge won't rule on ex-Colorado police officer's request to change sentence in Elijah McClain case

Shelly Bradbury, The Denver Post on

Published in News & Features

DENVER — An Adams County District Court judge won’t rule on a request to change the sentence for the sole Aurora police officer convicted in Elijah McClain’s death because the former officer’s appeal of his conviction is underway, according to a Friday order.

Randy Roedema in late May asked Judge Mark Warner to change his 14-month work-release sentence — in which Roedema leaves the jail during the day to go to work and returns to jail on nights and weekends — into home detention, in which Roedema would live at home and be monitored by GPS.

Warner on Friday said he could not rule on the request because Roedema has appealed his conviction to the Colorado Court of Appeals, and because of that pending appeal, Warner has no jurisdiction at this point to reconsider the sentence, according to the order.

“The court will defer the motion until jurisdiction is restored,” the order reads.

Roedema was convicted of criminally negligent homicide and assault in McClain’s 2019 death. McClain, an unarmed 23-year-old Black man, had committed no crime when Aurora police violently arrested him and paramedics injected him with an overdose of a powerful sedative, leading to his death.

In the May request to change his sentence, Roedema’s attorneys wrote that the former police officer was struggling to cope with conditions in the jail. Roedema was depressed, paranoid, sleeping poorly and had lost 30 pounds since starting his work-release sentence in March, they wrote in the filing.

 

Roedema was one of three first responders convicted in McClain’s death after five were arrested and tried.

Former paramedic Jeremy Cooper, convicted of criminally negligent homicide, was sentenced to 14 months of work-release. Cooper had asked to delay reporting to jail for work release while his own appeal is pending; Warner denied that request during a hearing Tuesday.

Former paramedic Peter Cichuniec, who was convicted of criminally negligent homicide and assault by drugging, was sentenced in March to five years in prison. Cichuniec is also seeking to reduce his prison sentence, and that process remains underway.

Two other Aurora police officers, Jason Rosenblatt and Nathan Woodyard, were acquitted by juries of all criminal charges in McClain’s death.

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