Trial delayed for former nurse charged in killings

AP News
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Posted: Nov 16, 2009 4:50 PM

The trial of a former Air Force nurse accused of killing three terminally ill patients has been delayed.

Capt. Michael Fontana had been set to begin a military court martial on Monday at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. But pretrial motions postponed the start until at least Tuesday.

Fontana is charged with three counts of murder and faces life in prison if convicted.

Military prosecutors say Fontana knowingly gave lethal doses of painkillers to three civilian patients placed on do-not-resuscitate orders at Wilford Hall Medical Center.

Defense attorney Elizabeth Higginbotham says Fontana was a competent and caring nurse who did his job to comfort patients. She says Fontana will plead not guilty.