PHILADELPHIA -- One day after a judge's ruling that dismissed an assisted suicide charge, a group called Compassion And Choices held a news conference urging the state attorney general's office to quit pursuing the case.
A judge in Schuylkill County basically ruled there wasn't enough evidence to prosecute a nurse accused of giving her terminally ill father a lethal dose of morphine last year in Pottsville
Barbara Mancini was at that news conference in Philadelphia Wednesday and spoke out for the first time. She says she is relieved this is over and is looking forward to moving on and getting her life back.
Mancini entered the living room at her home in Philadelphia to a much different scene than normal: a number of news crews waiting to hear what she had to say after a Schuylkill County judge dismissed the aiding suicide charge against her.
“I’m relieved and I’m happy, and that’s something I haven’t felt for over a year. The past year has been an unbearable torment,” Mancini said.
Prosecutors had accused Mancini of giving her sick father a bottle of morphine which he then used to kill himself last year at his home in Pottsville.
A judge in Schuylkill County ruled there wasn’t enough evidence to prove there was a crime. The ruling came down Tuesday, exactly one year after her father died.
“I don’t know if it was a coincidence or if Judge Russell timed it that way specifically, but it was a nice present on the anniversary of my father’s death,” Mancini said.
“It was encouraging. I love her more now than ever, and I’m glad it’s over for us and for her and she can start healing a little bit. It will never go away,” said her husband Joe Mancini.
Mancini and her husband of almost 20 years asked the state attorney general’s office not to appeal the judge’s decision to dismiss the charge.
They also thanked the advocacy group Compassion And Choices for supporting them this past year. The group gave the Mancinis a check for $20,000 to offset some of their legal bills.
Now Mancini says she will be an advocate for the group and help other caregivers who face the same problems she did.
“As happy as I am about this outcome, it doesn’t change the fact that the end of his life was nothing like he wanted it to be.”
The state attorney general’s office had no comment and said they’re still reviewing the judge’s decision.
Mancini was on unpaid administrative leave from her nursing job and then lost it. She says she plans to reapply for that nursing job.
People in Pottsville had mixed reactions to the charge against Mancini being dismissed.