Nursing home owners indicted on 35 negligent homicide counts
More than a year after 35 of their residents died in the rising waters of Hurricane Katrina, the owners of St. Rita's nursing home were indicted this week on charges of negligent homicide and cruelty.Salvador and Mabel Mangano were arrested about two weeks after the storm, which occurred Aug. 29, 2005. But because of damage to government buildings and the displacement of residents, a grand jury could not convene. The Manganos remained free on bond Wednesday, the day a grand jury handed down indictments.
Last month, the couple sued the government, saying federal, state and local officials failed to do enough to keep residents safe. They argued that they believed waiting out the storm was the better course of action, reasoning it would have been too risky to move their residents. Surviving residents and deceased residents' families have filed more than 30 lawsuits against the couple.