Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to correct a criminal charge in the case.
DENVER (KDVR) – A jury has returned a split verdict in the case against two Aurora, Colorado police officers charged with Elijah McClain’s death in 2019.
One officer, Randy Roedema, was found guilty of criminally negligent homicide and third-degree assault.
The other officer, Jason Rosenblatt, was acquitted of all charges.
Sentencing for Roedema is scheduled for Jan. 5, 2024 at 1:30 p.m.
Roedema has been on suspension from the Aurora Police Department during the investigation while Rosenblatt had been fired by the department.
Aurora Police Chief art Acevedo released the following statement on X, formerly known as Twitter:
“I know many have been waiting a long time for the involved parties to have their day in court. As a nation, we must be committed to the rule of law. As such, we hold the American judicial process in high regard. We respect the verdict handed down by the jury, and thank the members of the jury for their thoughtful deliberation and service. Due to the additional pending trials, the Aurora Police Department is precluded from further comment at this time.”
The two were charged, along with three others, in 2021 after protests over the murder of George Floyd spurred Gov. Jared Polis to direct the state’s attorney general, Philip Weiser, to open a new investigation into McClain’s death.
On August 24, 2019, officers stopped McClain while he was walking home from a convenience store. A 911 caller reported McClain, who was wearing a runner’s mask and jacket and listening to music, and said he seemed “sketchy.”
Three officers approached McClain after he left the store and the situation quickly escalated. McClain was put in a neck hold by officers and pinned to the ground before he was injected with the sedative ketamine by paramedics.
Prosecution witnesses testified that the ketamine was what killed McClain.
However, prosecutors also offered medical testimony that the restraint by Roedema and Rosenblatt triggered a number of health problems that made it difficult for him to breathe and contributed to the fatal overdose.
Defense attorneys argued that actions by the officers did not cause McClain’s death.
What happens next?
A third officer, Nathan Woodyard, was also charged in McClain’s death. His trial begins Friday.
Two paramedics, Jeremy Cooper and Peter Cichuniec, are also charged in McClain’s death. Their trial is slated to begin in November.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.