LifeStar EMT’s Defense Attorney Wants Bond Reduced & Family’s Lawyer Remarks Stricken in First-Degree Murder Case

By Benjamin Cox on March 21, 2023 at 2:59pm

Defense Attorney W. Scott Hanken

The defense attorney of an EMT accused of first-degree murder in Springfield is again asking for his client’s bond to be reduced.

The State Journal-Register reports that W. Scott Hanken, who represents Peggy J. Finley, filed an amended motion on Friday saying that statements made by the Earl Moore, Jr. family attorney Jennifer Hightower in court during a February 6th bond reduction hearing should be stricken from the record saying the statements were “highly improper, unsupported by law, and completely out of the scope of (the Crime Victims Bill of Rights).”

Finley & Cadigan Booking Photos (Sangamon County Jail)

Finley and fellow EMT Peter Cadigan responded to Moore’s North 11th Street home after being summoned by Springfield Police early on the morning of Dec. 18. The state has alleged the paramedics strapped Moore tightly to a gurney and then slammed his face into the prone position, which is how he was transported to HSHS St. John’s Hospital and later pronounced dead after suffocating to death.

Cadigan’s attorneys have not filed a similar motion. There is a 9:30 a.m. court hearing in Springfield Wednesday on the wrongful death lawsuit filed against Finley, Cadigan and LifeStar. Sangamon County Judge Robin Schmidt refused to lower both defendants’ bonds at the Feb. 6 hearing. Finley is due back in court for the motion to reduce bond on April 5th.

Hanken is seeking bond to be lowered to $600,000, 10% of which would apply to have her released. The motion is also seeking a private discussion between Finley and Schmidt about the matter. Because Hightower’s statement was made at a bond hearing, Hanken wants that issue reassigned before a different judge if the record is struck. Hanken argued in the motion Hightower’s address in the criminal case was in “conflict” because Hightower has a financial stake in the wrongful death lawsuit.

Last month, Sangamon County State’s Attorney Dan Wright filed two motions in the case, one calling out Hanken and Cadigan’s attorneys for ignoring the principle that “parallel criminal, civil and administrative proceedings are not mutually exclusive.”

The next pretrial date for both Finley and Cadigan will be on May 1st.