Nurses, Prosecutors Joust Over Post-Katrina Testimony

Caregivers accused in deaths of elderly patients
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 20, 2007 6:51 AM CDT
National Guard evacuate a wheelchair bound patient from an evacuation zone near Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans on Thursday, September 1, 2005.   (KRT Photos)
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(Newser) – The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina continues to unfold in the courts, where prosecutors have offered to drop second-degree murder charges against two nurses in exchange for their testimony about the deaths of four patients. The motions may be a sign that the case against the nurses is weak, the Times-Picayune reports, and the AP says the nurses will testify.

The nurses and a doctor have been charged with administering a deadly morphine cocktail to four elderly patients before their hospital was evacuated. The nurses fought the order to testify before a grand jury because the immunity grants would apply only to the case at hand—believed to be against the doctor—and not to future evidence prosecutors might develop.