December 3, 2023
Elijah McClain is pictured on this undated {photograph}. (Photograph offered by household of Elijah McClain) 

Jurors on Monday discovered the Aurora police officer who put Elijah McClain in a neck maintain not responsible on all counts within the 23-year-old’s loss of life greater than 4 years in the past after being violently arrested and injected with a strong sedative.

Nathan Woodyard, 34, was acquitted of reckless manslaughter and criminally negligent murder, the conclusion of the second of three prison trials in a case of police violence that drew widespread native and nationwide consideration following the homicide of George Floyd by Minneapolis police.

Jurors within the first trial acquitted former officer Jason Rosenblatt final month on fees stemming from McClain’s 2019 loss of life, however discovered officer Randy Roedema responsible of criminally negligent murder and third-degree assault.

McClain’s mom, Sheneen McClain, was within the courtroom Monday and wiped tears from her eyes after the Woodyard verdict was learn. She left the Adams County Justice Heart in Brighton along with her fist raised in protest.

Megan Downing, Woodyard’s protection lawyer, stated, “We imagine it was the proper verdict, not a simple one.”

Colorado Lawyer Basic Phil Weiser, whose workplace is prosecuting the Aurora cops and paramedics concerned in McClain’s loss of life, stated in an announcement that he knew securing convictions can be tough.

“We stay undeterred in our pursuit of accountability and justice for Elijah McClain and his household and associates,” Weiser stated. “I’m pondering of Sheneen McClain, who has fought arduous to maintain her son’s reminiscence alive. No mom ought to undergo what she has. We should do all we will to cease the illegal and pointless use of pressure that may end up in folks dying by the hands of legislation enforcement.”

McClain was strolling dwelling from a gasoline station — carrying a black ski masks as he usually did, and dancing to music — on Aug. 24, 2019, when somebody known as 911 to report a suspicious individual.

The responding officers detained McClain, violently compelled him to the bottom and handcuffed him earlier than paramedics injected McClain with the sedative ketamine. McClain suffered cardiac arrest on the best way to the hospital, the place he was later declared mind useless.

He died Aug. 30, 2019.

As police responded that August evening, Woodyard was the primary officer to make contact with McClain. He grabbed the 23-year-old inside eight seconds of getting out of his patrol automobile, with out introducing himself or explaining why he wished to speak to him.

Prosecutors argued that Woodyard needlessly escalated the state of affairs at each flip as he and two different officers, Rosenblatt and Roedema, tackled McClain to the bottom. Woodyard used a carotid maintain on McClain after Roedema claimed McClain reached for an officer’s gun.

The neck maintain prompted McClain to briefly lose consciousness, and prosecutors argued it began a collection of occasions that in the end led to McClain’s loss of life, together with a subsequent overdose of ketamine given to McClain by Aurora paramedics Peter Cichuniec and Jeremy Cooper.

Aurora police Officer Nathan Woodyard, center, answers questions from Judge Mark Warner standing next to lawyers Andrew Ho, left, and Megan Downing, right, during an arraignment in Adams County district court at the Adams County Justice Center in Brighton on Jan. 20, 2023. (Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post)
Aurora police Officer Nathan Woodyard, heart, solutions questions from Decide Mark Warner standing subsequent to attorneys Andrew Ho, left, and Megan Downing, proper, throughout an arraignment in Adams County District Courtroom on the Adams County Justice Heart in Brighton on Jan. 20, 2023. (Photograph by Andy Cross/The Denver Submit) 

Protection attorneys argued that the neck maintain didn’t contribute to McClain’s loss of life, as an alternative blaming McClain’s loss of life on the overdose of ketamine and the actions of the opposite two officers, who continued to restrain McClain as his situation worsened after Woodyard had walked away.