Governor becomes focus of Katrina SNF trial today

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Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco is schedule to testify today for the prosecution in the negligent-homicide trial of nursing home owners Sal and Mabel Mangano. Both Blanco and defense attorneys for the Manganos, the couple charged with 35 counts of negligent homicide in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, tried to prevent her appearance.

Actually, the defense first issued a subpoena for Blanco to testify about her state's disaster preparedness and its response to Katrina. But prosecutors on Monday announced they would have Blanco testify first, despite her not being on their witness list, a move that drew protests from defense attorneys but was upheld buy Judge Jerome Winsberg.

The Manganos' attorneys have said they plan to show how various government agencies and officials - not their clients -- were to blame for the unprecedented flooding and drownings at St. Rita's nursing home in St. Bernard parish.

On Saturday, prosecutors showed jurors a 30-minute compilation of televised weather warnings that aired before Katrina hit in August 2005.
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