Bench trial begins Wednesday for VA employee charged with patient's death

RAPIDES PARISH, La. (KALB) - Frederick Harris, an Alexandria VA Medical Center employee who is charged with the death of a patient back in 2013, will head to trial on Wednesday for a bench trial in front of Judge Harry Randow in the 9th Judicial District Court in Rapides Parish.

(Source: RPSO)

Judge Randow denied another defense attempt at a continuance on Monday.

Harris was originally charged with manslaughter for the death of Charles Johnson, 70, but that charge was dismissed and replaced with a negligent homicide charge.

Harris was a nursing assistant back in 2013. According to the DA's Office, Johnson suffered a closed head injury while he was a patient at the facility in March 2013.

Johnson was under the care of Harris when he received the injury. He was treated at Rapides Regional Medical Center and then transferred to a nursing home in Grant Parish where he later died.

An autopsy showed that the cause of Johnson's death was blunt force trauma to the head.

Harris was allowed to continue working at the VA after the incident because he was cleared by an internal investigation. He was suspended indefinitely after he was indicted by a grand jury in February 2017.

Harris is being represented by George Higgins. The case is being prosecuted by Brian Mosley.

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