SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) – A former prison guard in Puerto Rico has been convicted of negligent homicide in the drowning deaths of eight inmates.
Hector Cruz Santiago was driving a van carrying 10 inmates back to prison in November when he tried to take a shortcut to avoid a flooded area. The van was swamped by floodwaters and eight of the inmates drowned. People living nearby rescued two inmates.
The jury issued its 9-3 verdict Friday. Sentencing is scheduled for May 23, and prosecutor Wilson Gonzalez says he will seek the maximum sentence of three years and seven months in prison.
The family of one inmate scheduled to be released the day he drowned has filed a lawsuit against Puerto Rico’s government seeking $1 million in damages.
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