Failed prosecution in Katrina nursing home deaths cost over $360,000

Documents show that Louisiana taxpayers paid more than $360,000 for the failed prosecution in the case of nursing home patients who died in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

According to the documents, the state attorney general's office
spent the money on lessons in jury selection, advice on running the
trial and various experts.

Sal and Mabel Mangano owned St. Rita's nursing home, which was
flooded by the hurricane. Prosecutors said they should have
evacuated the home and charged the couple with 35 counts of
negligent homicide and 24 counts of cruelty to the elderly or
infirm.

A jury found the couple not guilty after less than four hours of
deliberation.

Former Attorney General Charles Foti drew heavy criticism for
prosecuting the couple and a doctor and nurse in a separate case.

Foti denied accusations that that he used the trials to
grandstand for a re-election bid, which he lost. He's now in
private practice with a law firm.


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