Judge fails to dismiss charges against Manganos

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A judge denied a motion to drop charges against the New Orleans-area nursing home owners blamed for the deaths of 35 residents following Hurricane Katrina.

The Manganos have maintained that if the New Orleans levees held, there would not have been flooding after the storm, and the residents would not have died. Their trial is set to begin Aug. 13. When the motion was filed, state District Judge Jerome Winsberg said he was considering allowing the defense to present evidence that the government was responsible for the deaths.

Salvador and Mabel Mangano have pleaded innocent to 35 counts of negligent homicide and 26 counts of cruelty to the infirm for failing to evacuate St. Rita's prior to the storm. Louisiana Attorney General Charles Foti has filed a claim against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers arguing that the collapse of faulty levees led to flooding.