BRIGHTON, Colo. (KDVR) — Three separate trials involving five first responders charged in Elijah McClain’s death will begin in the summer of 2023.
Nathan Woodyard, Jason Rosenblatt, Randy Roedema, Jeremy Cooper and Peter Cichuniec are each facing manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide charges among other charges. At an arraignment Friday afternoon, all five defendants pleaded not guilty.
Adams County District Court Judge Mark Warner previously ruled two of the three officers, Rosenblatt and Roedema will be tried together, the two paramedics will be tried together and Woodyard will stand trial individually.
“The defenses are different in this case and given the circumstances and sequence of events the judge determined that the best way to make sure everybody gets a fair trial is to group them in these three groups,” FOX31 legal analyst Chris Decker said.
During the arraignment Friday afternoon, Warner said he was not seeking to schedule the trials in any particular order. Instead, he said he was relying on scheduling logistics for setting the trial dates due to multiple defendants and overlapping .
Rosenblatt and Roedema’s trial is scheduled to begin on July 11. It is expected to last three weeks.
Cooper and Cichuniec’s trial is scheduled to begin on Aug. 7. It is also expected to last three weeks.
“The fact that two defendants are tried together does not mean that the verdict has to be the same,” Decker said. “Any time two defendants are tried together, the jury will be clearly instructed that they can find either or both guilty or either or both not guilty.”
Woodyard’s trial is scheduled to begin on Sept. 18, more than four years after Elijah McClain’s death.
Decker says it is expected to be a high-profile few weeks in Colorado’s court system.
“We have the confluence of a controversial drug, controversial police procedures and tragic loss of life,” he said.