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Farmer Innocent Of Manslaughter Charges

A Merced jury has found a dairy farmer innocent involuntary manslaughter in connection with the manure pit deaths of two workers.

Patrick Faria was facing two counts of involuntary manslaughter, and charges that he violated the state Labor Code in the deaths of Enrique Araisa and Jose Alatorre on his Gustine dairy.

The jury found him innocent yesterday.

In 2001, Alatorre had climbed into the pit to unclog it. He was overcome by toxic fumes coming from the mixture of liquid waste at the bottom of the pit. He fell and drowned and Araisa died trying to help him.