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St. Elizabeths nurse not guilty in death of patient

A D.C. Superior Court jury on Friday found a former St. Elizabeths Hospital nursing assistant not guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the 2007 death of a patient.

As the jury foreman read the verdict, Calvin Green hugged his attorneys Janet Mitchell and Eugene Ohm of the District’s Public Defender Service.

Prosecutors charged Green, 54, with murder in connection with the death of Mark Harris, a mentally ill patient of the well-known, District-owned mental institution.

On Jan. 9, 2007, Harris, 39, became irate and began banging his head against a wall and threw a chair across the room. Green tried to calm Harris. Green then grabbed Harris from behind, put him in a choke-hold and laid on top of him for 10 minutes, as he waited for other staffers to come to his aid.

Outside the courtroom, Green cited inadequate staffing at the hospital for Harris’s death.

“He didn’t deserve what happened that day. He was a patient there. We needed assistance,” Green said.

-- Keith L. Alexander

By Washington Post editors  |  April 9, 2010; 1:50 PM ET
Categories:  From the Courthouse , Keith L. Alexander , The District  
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