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
Nurses, Prosecutors Joust Over Post-Katrina Testimony
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)

(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. (Read more Hurricane Katrina stories.)

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