Jury hears opening statements in Mangano trial

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The owners of the News Orleans-area nursing home where 35 residents died following Hurricane Katrina were good people who practiced bad judgment. A prosecutor made this argument during opening statements Thursday in the highly publicized negligent homicide trial against the couple.

The jury also heard from the defense team of nursing home owners Salvador and Mabel Mangano. Defense attorney John Reed stressed that blame for the deaths rested on the government, which failed to warn the owners that they should evacuate the residents.

Nearly two years ago, the hurricane hit the Gulf Coast, causing major damage and the collapse of levees in the New Orleans area. That led to unprecedented flooding, turning the vast tracts of land and buildings into unlivable places. The Manganos have been charged with 35 counts of negligent homicide in connection with the deaths of residents who remained trapped in their St. Rita's nursing home in St. Bernard parish when water filled their facility.