2 to face criminal charges in Mass. pool death

From wire reports
Posted Dec. 21, 2011, at 10 p.m.

BOSTON — Two former state workers will be charged in connection with the death of a woman whose body was found two days after she drowned in a murky Massachusetts swimming pool, a prosecutor announced Wednesday.

Bristol District Attorney Sam Sutter said charges of reckless endangerment of a child will be filed against former Department of Conservation and Recreation Regional Director Brian Shanahan and former district manager Jeff Carter.

Marie Joseph, 36, died in the Fall River pool June 26. Officials have said Shanahan and Carter shouldn’t have kept the pool open and accessible to children while the water was too cloudy for safe operation in the two days before Joseph’s body was discovered.

Telephone numbers couldn’t be found for the men, and it’s unclear whether they have attorneys.

Last month, a magistrate said charges shouldn’t go forward. But another judge said Wednesday probable cause exists to warrant charges. An arraignment date wasn’t immediately set.

Joseph, of Newport, R.I., was a housekeeper from Haiti and mother of five. Investigators said she drowned after going down a water slide on the pool’s deep end. Surveillance video showed she surfaced briefly after hitting the water, bumped into a child and went under without a struggle.

Her body was discovered June 28 after it floated to the surface.

Sutter said Joseph couldn’t swim and ruled the death unintentional. He has said a day after her body was discovered, state police divers in the pool found a substantial amount of debris at the bottom of the pool, including hair ribbons, leaves and jewelry.

Sutter said staff told investigators the pool wasn’t vacuumed before it opened for the season because a vacuum wasn’t working.

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/12/21/news/nation/2-to-face-criminal-charges-in-mass-pool-death/ printed on September 23, 2014