Clerk Magistrate: No charges in Fall River pool death
FALL RIVER, Mass. -- No charges will be filed against two state workers following the death of a woman in a Fall River pool over the summer.
The decision comes nearly five months after 36-year-old Marie Joseph drowned in the Veteran’s Memorial Pool in Fall River. Joseph went to the pool with neighbors on June 26. She was supervising a child on the water slide when she went underwater and didn’t resurface, according to police. She stayed in the water for two days until her body was finally discovered.
The pool remained open during the two days following Joseph’s death, despite water being so cloudy life guards couldn’t see the bottom -- or Joseph’s body.
Bristol County District Attorney Samuel Sutter recommended that two managers face criminal charges for keeping the pool open.
The clerk magistrate ruled Wednesday that the facts don't support reckless endangerment charges that prosecutors had recommended for Department of Conservation and Recreation Regional Director Brian Shanahan and SouthCoast District Manager Jeff Carter.
"Most definitely charges should be brought because there is just no way. Definitely charges -- even though last time I said I forgive, but it just doesn’t make any sense. How can you leave someone there for -- and not cleaning the pool,” said Louis Ana Deandre, Joseph’s sister.
Sutter released a statement on Wednesday after the magistrate’s decision saying, “I am disappointed in the decision made by the Clerk Magistrate. We believe strongly in the evidence we compiled in these two cases and we will continue to pursue these charges.”
Over the next few days, Sutter will decide what steps they will take to pursue the charges.
Shanahan and several employees were forced to resign. Carter was placed on leave.
(Copyright (c) 2011 Sunbeam Television. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)