August, 16 2018

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Florida boot camp staff cleared in teen's death

A Florida jury acquitted seven former guards and a nurse of manslaughter on Friday in the death of a 14-year-old boy whose beating by the guards at a juvenile boot camp was caught on videotape.

The boot camp staff members had faced up to 30 years in prison if convicted.

The death of Martin Lee Anderson, who was arrested for joy riding in his grandmother's car, provoked outrage when the videotaped beating was widely shown on U.S. television networks.

The case prompted Florida to close its juvenile boot camps and the state agreed this year to pay $5 million to Anderson's family.

Aboutt he Boot Camp Case

Anderson's parents initially accused then-Florida Gov. Jeb Bush of a cover-up. Bush later appointed a special prosecutor who brought the manslaughter charges last November.

Anderson collapsed during an exercise drill on January 5, 2006, a few hours after he arrived at the detention center for young offenders in the Florida Panhandle. He died at a hospital the next day.

A medical examiner initially ruled that Anderson died of natural causes, angering the boy's parents who launched a lawsuit after publication of the videotape. The video showed the boy was kicked and hit repeatedly by guards.

A second autopsy found the boy died of suffocation because his mouth was blocked and he was forced to inhale ammonia smelling salts, which resulted in a blockage of his airway. The medical examiner said he died as a result of the "actions of the guards."

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