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Florida prosecutors charge 4 in nursing home deaths after Hurricane Irma

By
Clyde Hughes
Damage and debris caused by Hurricane Irma is seen in Boynton Beach, Fla., on September 10, 2017. File Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI
Damage and debris caused by Hurricane Irma is seen in Boynton Beach, Fla., on September 10, 2017. File Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 17 (UPI) -- Florida prosecutors have formally charged four nursing home workers with manslaughter, for the 2017 deaths of a dozen seniors that occurred after Hurricane Irma swept across the state and cut power for days.

The Broward County State Attorney's Office filed the charges Monday against nursing home administrator Jorge Carballo, 61; nursing supervisor Sergo Colin, 45; and nurses Althia Meggie, 36, and Tamika Miller, 31.

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Authorities charged Carballo and Colin with nine counts of aggravated manslaughter of an elderly or disabled adult. Prosecutors charged Meggie with two counts of aggravated manslaughter and two counts of tampering with or fabricating medical records. Miller was charged with six counts of aggravated manslaughter and two counts of tampering.

If convicted, the four could be sentenced to as many as 30 years in prison on the manslaughter charges.

The workers were arrested last month after authorities ruled the deaths of 12 seniors at the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., facility as homicides. Eleven of the 12 were caused by heat exposure, officials said, after patients were left in stifling heat after the storm cut power to air conditioners.

Then-Gov. Rick Scott said all four failed to call 911 and should be held accountable. David Frankel, Colin's attorney, said last month nursing home employees did everything they could to save the seniors' lives in a crisis situation.

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