UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) — Lawyers for three staff members at a Long Island nursing home say the employees may have suffered "alarm fatigue" when a patient became disconnected from a ventilator and died.

Newsday reports the lawyers made their statements during the first day of trial Monday for defendants Sijimole Reji and Annieamma Augustine, both nurses, and Martine Morland, a nurse aid.

The three have pleaded not guilty to several felony charges including criminal negligent homicide and willful violation of health laws.

The charges center on the December 2015 death of 81-year-old Carmela Contrera at A. Holly Patterson Extended Care Facility in Uniondale.

Prosecutors say the three heard alarms indicating Contrera became disconnected from the machine, but waited nine minutes to respond.

Defense attorneys say a number of false alarms may have played a role.