Sunday, October 14, 2007

Closing Arguments Underway In Boot Camp Trial


October 11, 2007

BAY COUNTY Closing arguments are underway in the trial of seven guards and a nurse charged in the manslaughter death of a boy at a Florida boot camp.

During his time before the jury, the prosecutor argued that the guards and nurse ignored common sense and good judgment in an altercation with 14-year-old Martin Lee Anderson. A 30 minute video tape of the altercation shows that guards repeatedly hit, kneed and dragged Anderson around after he collapsed while running laps at the camp. The nurse stood by watching.
Martin Lee Anderson's mother,
Gina Jones

Wednesday, Anderson's mother, Gina Jones, left the courtroom in tears as a camp guard described how he had hit the boy. Also, the judge in the case banned the boy's father from the courtroom after he made noises throughout the trial.

The case helped prompt Florida to close its juvenile boot camps.

The camps were designed to discourage juvenile offenders from becoming adult felons.

In Washington D.C., House panel has begun looking into charges of child abuse and neglect at residential treatment facilities, or boot camp facilities, across the nation.

Testimony is expected from parents whose children have died in boot-camp programs. The lawmakers will consider whether the privately run facilities should fall under federal regulation.