"We're talking about people that pretended that maybe they were God," Attorney General Charles C. Foti Jr. said, announcing second-degree murder allegations against Dr. Anna Pou, Lori L. Budo and Cheri Landry.February 2007:
"This is not euthanasia. It's homicide," Foti said.
Foti said a forensic pathologist analyzed tissue samples and concluded that the four patients died from a lethal cocktail of morphine, a powerful painkiller, and midazolam hydrochloride, a central-nervous-system depressant, which has the brand name Versed. None of the patients was receiving those drugs as part of their care at the hospital, Foti said.
"The crime was that they took morphine and midazolam and injected it into the patients," Foti said.
In a development that appears to undermine the case against Dr. Anna Maria Pou and two nurses at Memorial Medical Center, who have been accused of murdering four elderly patients in the harrowing days after Hurricane Katrina, Orleans Parish Coroner Frank Minyard said the physical evidence does not support a finding of homicide.And it’s not for lack of trying:
Instead, Minyard has classified each of the deaths as "undetermined," which means he cannot -- at this point -- conclude whether the four critically ill patients died by accident or from natural causes, suicide or homicide.
Minyard said he reached that conclusion after reviewing the evidence and consulting with some of the top forensic experts in the country.
"We did everything we were asked to do," Minyard said. "We took toxicology and sent it up to one of the best labs in the country for them to analyze. . . . But as we stand now, with all of the consultants we have used in our investigation, the classification is undetermined."