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  • Paramedic charged with murder

    Date September 18, 2003
    Section(s) Local News



    By JIM TODD

    The Independent

    ASHLAND A Boyd County grand jury Thursday indicted a local paramedic for the murder of Chad Ray Boggess, an inmate who was beaten last year in the Boyd County Detention Center and died nearly four weeks later in the hospital.

    The grand jury also indicted two former deputy jailers on charges of first-degree assault.

    Marty Johnson, 29, of Flatwoods, a paramedic with Boyd County EMS, was charged with "wantonly asphyxiating" Boggess "under circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference to the value of human life, ..." the indictment stated.

    After the beating at the jail, Boggess was restrained in a prone position -- face down -- with his arms handcuffed behind his back and his legs shackled, according to Boggess' death certificate. A cot strap was also used to restrain him, it stated.

    That is what led to the asphyxiation, the report states.

    Boggess' autopsy report lists the immediate cause of death as "complications of positional and mechanical asphyxia." Positional asphyxia occurs when the position of the body interferes with the person's ability to breathe and mechanical asphyxia means that some type of object also was involved.

    The death certificate indicates there was "post-assault pressure" on Boggess' neck.

    Boggess, 27, of Cross Lanes, W.Va., near Charleston, died April 11, 2002, in King's Daughters Medical Center, 26 days after being transported by Boyd County EMS from the jail.

    If convicted, Johnson faces 20 years to life in prison. If he receives a 20-year sentence, he would have to serve 17 years, or 85 percent under state guidelines involving a violent crime. A life sentence would mean he would be eligible for a parole hearing after serving 20 years.

    The grand jury also indicted former Boyd County deputy jailers Matthew Daniels, 31, and Douglas Raybourn, 33, both of Ashland, for beating Boggess the night of March 16, 2002, at the jail.

    If convicted, they each face 10 to 20 years in prison. A 10-year sentence would mean they would serve eight and one half years, and 17 years on a 20-year sentence.

    The indictments charge that each of the former deputy jailers, both of whom were fired following the beating, beat Boggess with a club, a chair and their fists and used pepper spray on him, causing serious physical injury.

    Arrest warrants were issued about 4 p.m. Thursday by Boyd Circuit Judge Marc I. Rosen, who set bond at $100,000 for Johnson and $50,000 each for Daniels and Raybourn. Various police agencies started searching for the three men immediately after the indictments were returned.

    If arrested by this morning, they will appear today before Boyd Circuit Judge C. David Hagerman, who was randomly assigned all three cases.

    At the initial appearance, they will be advised of their rights and the charges against them and asked if they have made arrangements to obtain legal representation.

    "I am convinced we have gotten as close as humanly possible to understanding the events of that night," Boyd Commonwealth's Attorney J. Stewart Schneider said after the indictments were returned. "Now, it will take a trial by jury to decide beyond a reasonable doubt what happened."

    Schneider called 29 witnesses to testify before the grand jury Monday through Thursday.

    Tina Davis of Charleston, Boggess' aunt and a spokesperson for the family, said her family thinks the grand jury did an "outstanding job of speaking for the public.

    "I feel like they returned the obvious indictment of murder for the death of Chad," Davis said. "The evidence was strong and the other two indictments were more than deserved as well."

    Although FBI affidavits pointed to several persons who could have contributed to Boggess' death, only former deputy jailer Robert. R. "Bob" Price of Ashland was indicted by a federal grand jury on one count of aggravated assault.

    Price pleaded guilty and was sentenced in May to five years in prison.

    Boggess was arrested March 12, 2002, by Ashland police after allegedly burglarizing a Charleston home and using the homeowner's identity to obtain a post office box and a bank account in Ashland.

  • #2
    Best of luck to our brother out there.
    ~Kevin
    Firefighter/Paramedic
    --^v--^v--^v--^v--
    Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong
    Dennis Miller

    Comment


    • #3
      So what did he do? Did he tie the guy up? Or, did the guards tie him up, and the paramedic did nothing? Or was the paramedic simply another guard? In which case, what does this have to do with him being a paramedic? Am I the only one who is confused?

      Stay Safe

      Comment


      • #4
        I am confused as well but if I read this correctly, the cause of death on the certificate as:

        Boggess' autopsy report lists the immediate cause of death as "complications of positional and mechanical asphyxia."
        in addition:

        The death certificate indicates there was "post-assault pressure" on Boggess' neck.
        My take on this is that someone, the paramedic or the corrections officer did something so as to constrict the flow of air into the patient. If the screw (CO) did it and the medic did nothing he is just as liable as if he had done it himself.

        On another note, with all of the litigation that has come out and the number of deaths due to positional asphyxia, why any paramedic would allow the patient to be restrained in this manner and transported in their ambulance is beyond me. This is just armchair quarterbacking, but perhaps more light can be shed on the subject by our members in the area.
        "Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." Will Rogers

        The borrower is slave to the lender. Proverbs 22:7 - Debt free since 10/5/2009.

        "No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session." - New York Judge Gideon Tucker

        "As Americans we must always remember that we all have a common enemy, an enemy that is dangerous, powerful and relentless. I refer, of course, to the federal government." - Dave Barry

        www.daveramsey.com www.clarkhoward.com www.heritage.org

        Comment


        • #5
          Seems to be a "Now, the rest of the story..." issue.

          Did the Paramedic just go along with abusing the guy?

          Or did the Paramedic believe he had a violent patient on his hands who needed maximum restraints 'cause the Guards told him that?

          I don't know about the laws in his state. I know in mine if he's in restraints from Corrections or Police, there's gonna be a C.O. or State Trooper in the ambulance with us -- once those cuffs go on, that person is *their* responsibility, not ours nor the patient's. Even having the Trooper follow you to the hospital is opening a can of potential worms.

          So many questions!
          IACOJ Canine Officer
          20/50

          Comment


          • #6
            I'd like to know alot more about what happened before judging. This could be anything from a deliberate attempt to harm the prisoner to a situation where the prisoner fought so hard that he wore himself out & suddenly arrested.

            I don't know what the training is where this medic worked, but positional asphyxia is one thing I teach all my EMT students. The preferred method of restraint is supine strapped to a backboard. If the person is cuffed & shackled, laid on their side on a board is the choice.

            It would be interesting to know if the medic's protocol included chemical restraints and if they were used. On medical director I've run for (who was also a commissioned police officer) recommended chemical restraints as a way to reduce the cardiac & respiratory demands on the person's system, especially if the person had crack, coke, meth, etc. on board.

            I'm really puzzled by the greater severity of charges against the medic vs. those against the CO's. They were the ones who were alleged to have beaten him.

            For someone like George: when do things like autopsy reports become public record & accessible?
            Proud to be honored with IACOJ membership. Blessed by TWO meals cooked by Cheffie - a true culinary goddess. Expressing my own views, not my organization's.

            Comment


            • #7
              You're right Dal There ARE many questions

              I'm not taking sides. But this I do know..He's INNOCENT until PROVEN guilty.
              IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm on the same page with Ohiovolffemtp..I also wondered why the medic would get the harsher sentence than the 2 deputies who apparently were the ones who beat the snot out of this guy. While I agree that he should have made attempts to transport the pt. in a
                position that would reduce potential asphyxiation, I don't think this guy was the ultimate cause of the pt's demise. Sounds like getting beat with a chair and other items plus being pepper sprayed would do a good enough job to cause you some trouble.

                Now as others have said, we don't have all the facts and it's not fair for us to Mondaymorning quarterback this medic. While it's easy to say "well, I would have done this or that", we have ALL been in situations where someone else, be it a cop or otherwise, told us "this is the way we're doing it, got it?" Who knows, maybe this medic was scared [email protected]# that they would beat him up next if he even said a word!!

                My other question is this - after beating beaten with a chair, fists & other items AND being pepper sprayed, how much of a danger could this guy have been? Now before anybody says "are you nuts?", let me say this...I have worked in ghetto neighborhoods for 13 years as an EMS provider & have seen some strung out 90 lb. crackheads who could kick anybody's A#$ no matter how big or tough they are so I'm a firm believer in restraining the pt. PROPERLY.

                My preference would have been to tell the deputies (while inside the prison where they have trained back-up) "here's my stretcher, sit him up/lay him flat & cuff him to it". This way he's restrained, in the proper position to prevent asphyxiation AND if he goes nuts, they've got their fellow staff on hand with all the "tools of the trade" needed to restrain this individual. Again, this is somewhat of a perfect world scenario....these guys could dragged this poor guy by his feet out the front door & met the ambulance as they pulled up.

                The reality is we probably will never know the whole truth and the only people whop know what REALLY happended in the back of that ambulance are the deputies and the medic.

                Well, that's my take on the whole situation. Stay safe out there....

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'd be willing to bet there is significantly more to this story than is told in the news clip (shocker huh?).

                  I agree with Ohio - no judgements from me - but there are lots of questions that should be answered on both sides before anyone makes any judgements.

                  Who restrained him?

                  Why?

                  What was the medic's training on restraints?

                  What is the department's protocol on restraints?

                  Was it followed?

                  Were there any injuries sustained after the patient was restrained? What type and were they self inflicted?

                  Were there comments made by the medic that lead someone to believe he had some intention of doing this person harm?

                  Were they serious comments or just "in the heat of the moment"? (I've threatened a patient or two in my life, but never did anyone harm).

                  There has to be more to this story..maybe he's a victim of politics (an overzealous DA up for re-election) or maybe he's a nut that went off and killed the guy... or maybe there's an in between here. We only know what we read in that old reliable news...so I'm not going to defend him, or condemn him just yet.
                  Susan Lounsbury
                  Winston-Salem Rescue Squad
                  Griffith Volunteer FD

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Think I'm gonna get jumped on this, but here goes anyways.......


                    He allowed the pt. to be restrained like he was (prone on a backboard and cuffed, along with strap over him). Why would you do that??????? No, I wasn't there, but with COs, and the crew, I don't understand why he didn't restrain him properly........ Supine on a backboard and limbs restrained individually, one arm up, the other down and feet tied to the corners is how I would have done it.

                    I do not place full blame on the medic, because the COs are the ones who beat the hell out of him, ,but the medic is the one in charge of pt. care. Regardless of whether he's in cuffs or not (if cuffed, then a CO needs to ride along to remove them if it becomes necessary), he is still a pt. in need of medical assistance, to which he was called for, so it is his responsibility for treating and restraining him properly........
                    The comments made by me are my opinions only. They DO NOT reflect the opinions of my employer(s). If you have an issue with something I may say, take it up with me, either by posting in the forums, emailing me through my profile, or PMing me through my profile.
                    We are all adults so there is no need to act like a child........
                    IACOJ

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I can't say I've ever tied a patient down prone, but for those of you who have never been inside a prison to transport a prisoner, it can be quite un-nerving. If it was the guards that beat the crap out of this guy, I have to imagine that he provoked it somehow.

                      So picture this, you arrive to a prison for an injured person. Show up, guards say "yeah this guy was really out of control, we had to beat him this bad". By now your blood pressure has probably started to rise, the patient is most likely already prone, handcuffed, on the ground. So you scoop and run, and rather than uncuffing him and the thought of laying a person on top of handcuffs doesn't sound good, you scoop and go.



                      As I said in a previous post about a different situation, I absolutely refuse to pass judgement on this medic, because I was not there.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        As Mikey say's; "INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY"

                        Also as stated, our protocols also require an officer to ride when the patient has been restrained by them. Besides, the box is an awful small place for a violent individual...and who's safety is priority, theirs or yours? Think about it.

                        He allowed the pt. to be restrained like he was (prone on a backboard and cuffed, along with strap over him). Why would you do that??????? No, I wasn't there, but with COs, and the crew, I don't understand why he didn't restrain him properly........ Supine on a backboard and limbs restrained individually, one arm up, the other down and feet tied to the corners is how I would have done it.
                        Get spit on or bitten at a few times and you too, will have people on their belly. Also, it is easier to clear an airway if they puke when a restrained individual is already on their stomach.
                        My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
                        "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
                        George Mason
                        Co-author of the Second Amendment
                        during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788
                        Elevator Rescue Information

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Get spit on or bitten at a few times and you too, will have people on their belly
                          That's why you put a mask over the pt's mouth, so they can't spit on you............ and if you are worried about biting, don't put yourself near his/her mouth..........


                          Also, it is easier to clear an airway if they puke when a restrained individual is already on their stomach.
                          And that's why you restrain the pt. to a backboard and do like you do for any other backboarded pt. .................

                          I'm not saying my safety doesn't come first, I'm just saying I think there are better ways of restraining a pt. so this doesn't happen.
                          The comments made by me are my opinions only. They DO NOT reflect the opinions of my employer(s). If you have an issue with something I may say, take it up with me, either by posting in the forums, emailing me through my profile, or PMing me through my profile.
                          We are all adults so there is no need to act like a child........
                          IACOJ

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Not Everyone Knows About Positional Asphyxia

                            I just had a run where we had to physically and then chemically restrain a violent resident at a local MRDD home. The patient is a 6' mid 30's male, very strong, who occasionally gets very violent. He punches walls, himself, staff, and other residents.

                            The deputies did a very good job of restraining him with the minimum force necessary. They had him cuffed & face down. We gave him Haldol & Ativan then put on soft restraints to secure him to a back board. One of the deputies suggested leaving him prone. Once I mentioned preventing positional asphyxia & the incident in KY, he remembered this incident. We rolled the patient over and all went well.

                            I think this illustrates that not all law enforcement personnel are familiar with this risk yet. As EMS personnel, we may need to mention it to them if they aren't familiar with it.
                            Proud to be honored with IACOJ membership. Blessed by TWO meals cooked by Cheffie - a true culinary goddess. Expressing my own views, not my organization's.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Immediate cause 26 days later?

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