Profession

September earliest date to convene grand jury in Katrina murder case

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Aug. 21, 2006

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A grand jury investigation into accusations that a physician and two nurses murdered four patients at New Orleans' Memorial Medical Center in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina won't begin until after Labor Day, at the earliest, according to the office of Orleans Parish District Attorney Eddie Jordan. After an 11-month probe, Louisiana Attorney General Charles C. Foti Jr. arrested Anna Maria Pou, MD , and nurses Lori Budo and Cheri Landry, accusing them of second-degree murder, which carries a mandatory life sentence. But Jordan must convene a grand jury to investigate the case before filing any formal charges, and the grand jury must agree that the charges should have a life sentence or execution as punishments. If the grand jury finds no cause, lesser charges can be filed.

Through their attorneys, Dr. Pou, Budo and Landry have denied the accusations. The women have been released on their own recognizance.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2006/08/21/prbf0821.htm.

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