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Accident or crime? VA worker faces trial in patient's death

7 months 2 weeks 5 days ago March 06, 2016 Mar 6, 2016 Sunday, March 06 2016 March 06, 2016 1:32 PM in News
Source: Associated Press
By: Michael Kunzelman

ALEXANDRIA - The manslaughter case against a Department of Veterans Affairs nursing assistant in Louisiana has become fodder for the federal agency's congressional critics.

Fredrick Kevin Harris awaits a trial over the May 2013 death of a 70-year-old psychiatric patient, who was fatally injured during an altercation with Harris at a VA medical center in Pineville.

In the meantime, a House committee led by a Florida Republican has pressed VA officials to explain why Harris hasn't been fired. Harris returned to work in December even though his criminal case is pending.

Hospital officials concluded Charles Lee Johnson was accidentally injured in a fall. But an autopsy found Johnson died of blunt force trauma to the head.

Harris' trial is currently scheduled to start Monday but is expected to be postponed.

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