Trial for infamous New Orleans nursing home owners leaves area

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The trial for the owners of St. Rita's nursing home, where 35 residents died after Hurricane Katrina led to broken flood levees, will likely move 120 miles from the area where the deaths occurred.

State Judge Jerome Winsberg agreed with prosecutors and defense attorneys that the venue should be changed out of concerns about seating a full, impartial jury. He set an April 16 trail date for Salvador and Mabel Mangano, who face charges of negligent homicide. Defense lawyers had wanted the trial moved to another nearby area. They still could agree to have the trial take place in St. Bernard Parish in the unlikely event they opt for a bench trial.

Louisiana Attorney General Charles Foti charged the Manganos, owners of St. Rita's in a coastal suburb of New Orleans, with 35 counts of negligent homicide. Each count carries a potential sentence of five years in prison.