Convicted former Aurora Police officer Randy Roedema files appeal in the case of Elijah McClain’s death

Elijah McClain Officer Sentenced
David Zalubowski/AP Photo
Former Aurora Police Department officer Randy Roedema leaves the courtroom after being convicted of charges in the 2019 death of Elijah McClain during a trial in the Adams County Courthouse, Oct. 12, 2023, in Brighton, Colo. The only police officer convicted of killing McClain faces anywhere from probation to several years behind bars when a judge decides his punishment Friday, Jan. 5, 2024.

The sole Aurora Police officer convicted in the 2019 death of Elijah McClain is seeking an appeal.

Randy Roedema’s attorneys filed an appeal Wednesday in the Colorado Court of Appeals seeking to overturn his negligent homicide and third-degree assault convictions.

According to court documents, attorneys are asking the court to review several areas in the conviction including the original indictment, the district court and state attorney general’s jurisdiction, and whether there was sufficient evidence to convict Roedema.

Roedema, 37, was one of three Aurora Police Officers tried last fall in connection to MClain’s death. The 23-year-old unarmed black man was approached by officers while walking home from a convenience store in August 2019. The violent interaction led to McClain vomiting in the ski mask he was wearing at the time.

Aurora Fire Paramedics administered an overdose of ketamine to McClain while he was detained. He died days later at the hospital

An amended autopsy found that McClain died from ketamine administration following forcible restraint.

After three months of trials, Roedema was the only officer convicted. Jason Rosenblatt and Nathan Woodyard, the officer who first encountered McClain, were acquitted of all charges. Roedema was sentenced to 14 months in jail and four years probation last month.

The Aurora Police Department terminated Rosenblatt before the trial. Woodyard briefly returned to the force and was awarded $200,000 in back pay. He has since resigned.

The two paramedics, Jeremy Cooper and Peter Cichuniec, were convicted of negligent homicide in December. Cichuniec was also found guilty of assault for unlawful drug administration.

A message seeking comment was left with Roedema’s attorneys.