Ex-cop asks judge to move retrial away from N.O.
Wed, 2013-10-16 15:49
Warren was convicted of manslaughter for fatally shooting 31-year-old Henry Glover outside a strip mall less than a week after the 2005 storm.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A former New Orleans police officer charged in a deadly shooting after Hurricane Katrina has renewed his request for a federal judge to move his retrial away from New Orleans.
In a court filing Tuesday, David Warren’s attorneys question whether extensive media coverage of his case and another deadly police shooting in Katrina’s aftermath will prevent him from getting a fair trial in the Eastern District of Louisiana.
In April, U.S. District Judge Lance Africk rejected a previous request by Warren to transfer the case to another district.
But Warren’s lawyers want to revisit the issue, citing a “flurry of media reports and editorials” about a recent decision by a different judge to order a new trial for five former New Orleans police officers convicted of charges stemming from deadly shootings on a bridge after Katrina. U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt cited evidence of “grotesque” prosecutorial misconduct when he threw out the former officers’ convictions on civil rights charges.
Warren’s attorneys argue that media coverage of Engelhardt’s ruling “has only helped conflate the two trials in the minds of potential jurors and pollute the jury pool even more.” Some of the potential jurors who recently filled out a questionnaire from the court mistakenly believed that Warren was one of the officers involved in the Danziger Bridge shootings, the defense lawyers noted.
Warren was convicted of manslaughter for fatally shooting 31-year-old Henry Glover outside a strip mall less than a week after the 2005 storm. A different officer was convicted of burning Glover’s body in a car.
A three-judge panel from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Warren’s 2010 convictions in December 2012, ruling he should have been tried separately from officers accused of engaging in a cover-up.
His retrial is scheduled to start on Dec. 2.
Warren’s attorneys urged Africk to sequester jurors as a possible alternative to moving the retrial to a different district.