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New Orleans nursing home owners found not guilty of Katrina drowning deaths

[JURIST] A Louisiana state court jury Friday found nursing home owners Salvador and Mabel Mangano not guilty of the drowning deaths of residents at St. Rita's Nursing Home in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina [JURIST news archive]. Lawyers representing the Manganos, who pleaded not guilty [JURIST report] to 35 charges of negligent homicide and 64 charges of cruelty last October, had argued that the owners did what they thought would keep the residents safe by keeping the residents at the home with food, water, and generators. Thirty-five residents drowned in the flood waters [NYT report; victim list, PDF] that overtook the one-story nursing home in less than 20 minutes.

Louisiana Attorney General Charles Foti [official website] charged the Manganos in September 2005, but the couple was not indicted [JURIST report] until last September due to the extensive damage in the area. AP has more.

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