Not guilty pleas in Katrina deaths

Oct. 4, 2006 at 11:37 PM

NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 4 (UPI) -- The owners of a Louisiana nursing home where 35 residents died in Hurricane Katrina have pleaded not guilty to negligent homicide and cruelty charges.

Mabel and Salvador Mangano, who own St. Rita's nursing home near Poydras, La., about 20 miles southeast of downtown New Orleans in St. Bernard Parish, entered their pleas in state district court in Chalmette before Judge Jerome Winsberg.

Winsberg did not set a trial date, but said Dec. 7 and Dec. 8 would be hearing dates for pre-trial motions, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune reported.

Several relatives of St. Rita's residents who died in the hurricane gathered at the courthouse, some carrying signs with pictures of loved ones.

The Manganos remain free on bond.

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