A Florida judge acquitted nursing home administrator Jorge Carballo of the overheating deaths of nine patients after Hurricane Irma in 2017.
Carballo was accused of allegedly failing to give adequate direction to Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills staff members after the facility’s air conditioning system went out due to extreme weather. The outage caused the death of 12 patients, and Carballo was charged with manslaughter of nine of the patients. If convicted, he would have faced up to 15 years in prison.
Charges were dismissed against Carballo during the third week of his trial, just days before it was expected to go to a trial, according to WUSF Public Media. Circuit Judge John J. Murphy III agreed with Carballo’s attorney that prosecutors had “failed to present any substantial proof... to establish that the conditions at the nursing home from Sunday September 10th until the early mornings of the 13th were such that it was foreseeable to the Defendant that the residents were in danger of death or great bodily harm.”
The Broward County State Attorney’s Office filed a motion requesting that Judge Murphy reconsider his decision to no avail. According to ABC News, Murphy agreed with Carballo’s attorneys that it would be double jeopardy to reverse his decision and let the trial continue.
Judge Murphy found “undisputed evidence” that Carballo’s employees had tried to provide care to the patients during the power outage, according to ABC News.