Nursing home owners charged in Katrina deaths (USA Today)
The husband-and-wife owners of a New Orleans-area nursing home where 34 people died in Hurricane Katrina's floodwaters were charged Tuesday with negligent homicide.
By Rick Bowmer, AP
The case represents the first major prosecution to come out of the disaster in New Orleans.
The owners of St. Rita's Nursing Home in the town of Chalmette "were asked if they wanted to move (the patients). They did not. They were warned repeatedly that this storm was coming. In effect, their inaction resulted in the deaths of these patients," Louisiana Attorney General Charles Foti said.
Salvador A. Mangano and his wife, Mable, surrendered and were jailed on 34 counts of negligent homicide. Each count carries up to five years in prison.
The charges came as Katrina's death toll in Louisiana climbed to 423, up from 279 a day before, the state Health Department said.
Earlier Tuesday, President Bush said "I take responsibility" for failures in dealing with Hurricane Katrina and said the disaster raised broader questions about the government's ability to respond to natural disasters as well as terror attacks.
"Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government," Bush said at joint White House news conference with the president of Iraq.
"To the extent the federal government didn't fully do it's job right, I take responsibility," Bush said. (more...)