BRIGHTON, Colo. (KDVR) — A district court judge presiding over the criminal case related to the 2019 death of Elijah McClain has denied the defendants’ motions to dismiss it. 

In an order, signed by District Court Judge Priscilla Loew, the court found “there is probable cause” to proceed with the case.  

The court cited “thousands of pages of transcripts and numerous exhibits” included in the grand jury materials that led to the criminal indictments. “After reviewing the grand jury materials, the Court finds, when viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the People and with all inferences in favor of the prosecution, there is sufficient evidence to establish probable cause of the counts listed in the grand jury indictment,” Loew wrote. 

In 2019, three Aurora police officers confronted Elijah McClain, pinning him to the ground and handcuffing him before paramedics sedated him with an injection of ketamine. McClain died after the altercation. 

Nathan Woodyard, Randy Roedema, Jason Rosenblatt, Pete Cichuniec, and Jeremy Cooper are all facing criminal charges related to McClain’s death

Loew converted an upcoming hearing to an arraignment for the accused. 

First responders involved in case

A 157-page independent investigation outlined several missteps in the police department’s handling of the internal investigation into what happened. The report even suggested investigators designed questions to help exonerate the officers involved.

Gov. Jared Polis issued an executive order in June 2020, assigning Attorney General Phil Weiser as a special prosecutor to investigate McClain’s death.

Dave Young was the DA for the 17th Judicial District when he issued a letter to Aurora Police on Nov. 22, 2019, detailing why he chose not to file criminal charges against anyone for the death of McClain.

Nearly two years later, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser announced there was enough evidence to file 32 counts, including manslaughter against five men, three were police officers at the time and two were paramedics.