Criminal Justice

No Murder Charges for Katrina Doctor

A grand jury in New Orleans has refused to indict a doctor accused of murdering four hospitalized patients by having them injected with a lethal drug cocktail in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

However, a prosecutor said after the announcement of the grand jury’s findings that investigators in her office still consider the four deaths homicides, reports television station WDSU, based in part on information from the Associated Press.

The Orleans Parish grand jury issued a “no true bill” today, refusing to charge Dr. Anna Pou. That ends a grand jury investigation that has been under way since March, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

Pou and two nurses, against whom charges were dropped earlier, were accused of giving four elderly patients lethal injections as they worked under horrendous conditions in the sweltering, flooded hospital after others evacuated, waiting days for help. The four were among at least 34 patients at Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans who died in the aftermath of the August 2005 storm.

Pou sued Attorney General Charles Foti on July 16, contending that he pursued charges against her to boost a bid for re-election, as discussed in an earlier post. She is seeking to require the state of Louisiana to pay to defend her in civil litigation brought by families of patients.

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