St. Rita’s Nursing Home Owners Indicted

FromTimes Picayune

A St. Bernard Parish grand jury has indicted the owners of a nursing home where 35 people died during flooding from Hurricane Katrina.

Mabel and Salvador Mangano were indicted on 35 counts of negligent homicide and 64 counts of cruelty to the infirm, authorities said.

The Manganos were arrested last year after authorities said they were responsible for the deaths at St. Rita’s Nursing Home near Poydras because they failed to evacuate the patients ahead of the storm. The Manganos argue that to evacuate the elderly residents would have been dangerous since they were already frail and in failing health. They also said the nursing home had never flooded, not even during Hurricane Betsy in 1965.

The grand jury of six women and five men that heard the case Wednesday in Chalmette was the first convened in the parish since the hurricane.

The Manganos, who remain free on previous bond, will be arraigned on Oct. 4.