Charges Explained in Boot Camp Case

Seven Panama City boot camp drill instructors, plus the camp nurse are being charged with manslaughter of a minor in the January 2006 death of 14 year old inmate Martin Lee Anderson.

State prosecutors filed a "Statement of Particulars" Tuesday for the eight outlining the background their charges. In that five page document, the most serious allegations are leveled at four of the guards and the nurse.

Prosecutors say Raymond Hauck, Charles Helms Junior, Patrick Garrett and Joseph Walsh, were directly involved in depriving the 14-year old of oxygen.

Prosecutors say Anderson died from suffocation as a result of his struggle with the guards on his first day at the local boot camp. They say guards forced him to breathe ammonia through his nose by holding their hands over his mouth for more than 5 minutes.

The nurse, Kristin Schmidt, also faces serious allegations such as failing to assess Anderson’s condition, allowing the drill instructors to improperly apply the ammonia, and failing to provide ambulance personnel information necessary to diagnose and treat him.

The court document indicates three other drill instructors, Henry Dickens, Henry McFadden Junior and Charles Enfinger played lesser roles in the incident.

The “Statement of Particulars” holds dickens responsible for providing the ammonia that prosecutors say was used to suffocate the teenager. McFadden and Enfinger are being accused of failing to allow Anderson to recover from physical exertion and prohibiting him from inhaling oxygen by restraining and applying force on him.

In the pretrial hearing Tuesday, Judge Michael Overstreet waived the right to a speedy trial for the eight defendants. And with 20 thousand pages of evidence still to be looked at, this could mean the eight former boot camp employees may not be going to trial for a long time.

The court agreed to meet once again June 19th for further pre-trial proceedings.


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