Florida nursing home owner acquitted in patients' deaths

A judge acquitted Jorge Carballo, a Florida nursing home administrator who faced manslaughter charges for the death of nine residents, during the third week of his trial, radio station WLRN reported Feb. 25.

Circuit Judge John Murphy III dismissed the nine manslaughter charges days before it was to go to a jury, according to the report. 

"The state has presented insufficient evidence that the defendant engaged in a course of conduct that was reckless or wanton or that the defendant knew or should have known that his actions and omissions were reasonably likely to lead to the victims' deaths or cause great bodily injury," the judge wrote

The Broward County state attorney's office filed a motion to request the judge reconsider his decision. It argued Mr. Carballo failed to order a patient evacuation to Memorial Regional Hospital, which was located across the street, according to the report. The judge upheld his decision, saying it would be double jeopardy to reverse the acquittal and continue the trial, ABC News reported. 

The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills in Hollywood, Fla., lost power to its air conditioning amid the heat following Hurricane Irma in 2017, resulting in the death of 12 patients. Mr. Carballo is charged with manslaughter of nine patients and could face 15 years in prison for allegedly failing to give adequate directions to his staff after power to the facility's air-conditioning system was lost, and failing to order his patients' evacuation to the hospital across the street.

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