FRANKLYWNOW - No charges for doctor in Katrina hospital deaths

No charges for doctor in Katrina hospital deaths

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (AP) -- A grand jury Tuesday declined to indict Dr. Anna Pou, the surgeon accused of killing four seriously ill patients in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

An undated photo released by the Louisiana Attorney General's Office shows Dr. Anna Pou.

Pou and two nurses were arrested last summer after Attorney General Charles Foti's investigation concluded they gave four patients a "lethal cocktail" at Memorial Medical Center amid the chaotic conditions that followed the August 2005 storm.

Lawyers for the three said they acted heroically by staying to treat patients rather than evacuating.

Charges against the nurses, Lori Budo and Cheri Landry, were dropped after they were compelled to testify before the grand jury last month under legal guidelines that kept their testimony from being used against them. Video Watch what led up to grand jury decision »

The Orleans Parish grand jury had been investigating the charges since March.

Assistant District Attorney Michael Morales, who conducted the grand jury hearings, had asked the grand jurors to return one charge of second-degree murder and nine of murder conspiracy.

The grand jurors sat calmly while the judge read the possible charges and each response of "no true bill."

Morales said afterward that he could not comment on the decision.

When the levees broke in New Orleans following the hurricane's landfall, 80 percent of the city flooded. The lower level of Memorial Medical Center was under 10 feet of water, and electricity was out across the city. Inside the hospital, the temperature topped 100 degrees.

At least 34 people died at Memorial, many from dehydration during the four-day wait for rescuers to evacuate them.

The four Pou was accused of killing ranged in age from 61 to 90. Foti said all four would have survived if they hadn't been given morphine and midazolam hydrochloride.

Pou, whose specialty is eye, ear, nose and throat surgery, gave up her private practice after she was arrested and has been teaching at LSU medical school in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. E-

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