Winkler County Nurse found Not Guilty

Former Winkler County Nurse Found “Not Guilty” 2/11/10

Elias Hernandez

CBS 7 News

February 11, 2010

12:20 PM

The verdict just in.

Former Winkler County nurse, Anne Mitchell, has been found “not guilty” for misusing confidential information.

via CBS 7 – Your Eye on West Texas.

A case that should never have been brought is now over.

Now, about that Civil suit…

Update: via the NYT:

A jury in West Texas took less than an hour Thursday to acquit a nurse who had been charged with a felony after anonymously complaining to the state medical board that a doctor at her hospital was practicing unsafe medicine. The prosecution had ignited deep concern among health care workers and advocates for whistle-blowers about the potential chilling effect of a conviction.

Less than an hour.

Update: more coverage of the acquittal:

Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Modern Healthcare (requires free but annoying registration), LA Times


  1. Glen in Texas says:

    Civil suit is in the Federal District Court, El Paso. I’d guess a substantial settlement before July.

  2. Glen in Texas says:

    Pardon my memory, U S District Court, Western District of Texas, Pecos.

    It will be interesting to see what actions are taken against the attorneys, sheriff, and the docs involved.

  3. In addition to the civil trial,
    1. The FBI should file criminal civil rights charges against the Sheriff and Prosecutor.
    2. The OIG should pursue the hospital and administrator,
    3. The Texas State Bar should disbar the prosecutor.
    4. The Texas Medical Board should sanction Arafiles.

  4. You just can’t trust juries anymore.

  5. texxasredd says:

    The actual guilty/not guilty vote probably took 5 minutes. The other 55 was spent electing a foreman (10 – 15 minutes) and figuring out how to fill out the paperwork and which charge forms to sign.

  6. Texxasredd, don’t forget going to the bathroom.

  7. I hope they stayed long enough to get lunch

  8. I used to live in Alpine and know Pecos very well. The people there will not like that this nurse was prosecuted for reporting wrongdoing AT ALL. Unless there are stupider-than-average lawyers involved (As there have been so far), I’d expect she will be able to get just about any settlement she asks for.

    BTW: I’m sure every juror had decided she was not guilty before they ever retired to deliberate. That, “less than an hour” was filled with nothing but the formalities.

    Cases like this fill me with disgust.

  9. Now can we put the real crooks on trial ???

    The Doctor and the Sheriff!!!


  1. […] Orac has plenty of interesting reporting and coverage here, here, and here (earlier). Update: Not guilty. […]

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