The district attorney has dropped the case against two nurses in the deaths of four patients at a New Orleans hospital after Hurricane Katrina.
Nurses Lori Budo and Cheri Landry, along with a third woman, physician Anna Pou, were arrested last summer and booked with being principal to second-degree murder, which carries a mandatory life prison sentence.
Were very pleased. We thought this was how it would end, Landrys attorney John DiGiulio said Tuesday. Were cautiously optimistic that when its all over no one will be chargedincluding Dr. Pou.
State Attorney General Charles Foti claimed they killed four people with a lethal cocktail at Memorial Medical Center during the chaotic conditions after the August 2005 storm. Lawyers for the three said they acted heroically, staying to treat patients rather than evacuating. No charges have been filed.
Budo and Landry had been compelled to testify last month before a grand jury, under legal guidelines that precluded their testimony from being used against them. They waived their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
Assistant District Attorney Michael Morales, in a filing with the Louisiana Supreme Court, had stated he would refuse second-degree murder charges, essentially dropping the case against Budo and Landry, once they testified.
Charges against Budo were refused on Friday, those against Landry were refused June 22, according to state court records.
Although testimony before a grand jury is secret, DiGiulio said there is no reason to believe the nurses testified against Pou. The doctor remains free on $100,000 bond. -- by the Associated Press