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Prosecutor Reduces Abuse Charges Against Fmr. State Mental Hospital Nurse

Charges against a North Florida mental hospital nurse have been reduced after her attorney’s challenged the state to prove its case. It’s the latest development in ongoing legal issues stemming from the treatment of a pregnant mental hospital patient in state care who later lost her child.

The state reduced the charges against former Florida State Hospital Nurse Kathryn Cottle from a 2nd degree felony down to a 3rd degree felony. In order to keep the original charge, the state needed to prove the nurse’s actions resulted in great bodily injury to the mother or child. Attorney Sid Matthews, one of Cottle’s lawyers says he doesn’t believe the new charges will stick.

“The state of Florida hired a well respected obstetrician-expert from North Carolina who reviewed this entire case and determined Nurse Kottle didn’t cause any bodily injury to R.W. and the baby," he said.

The case centers on whether Kottle delayed in getting the woman care when she complained of labor pains. Cottle’s attorneys say the nurse is being scape-goated as the state tries to avoid a lawsuit. An investigation into the case showed other people involved, but Kottle was the only person charged. A trial could begin this Summer.