A judge has ordered Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco to testify about her response to Hurricane Katrina at the trial of accused nursing home owners, Salvador and Mabel Mangano. The ruling marks the first time a Louisiana attorney has been forced to testify in a criminal case against his or her will, according to attorneys representing Blanco.
The Manganos, who owned St. Rita’s nursing home in St. Bernard Parish, are on trial for the deaths of 35 residents, who perished when water flooded into the facility following the hurricane. They have been charged with 35 counts of negligent homicide and 26 counts of cruelty to the infirm. The trial began on Monday.
The Manganos’ defense is expected to blame the deaths on the poor state, federal and local response to the storm following the collapse of the levees.