NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Four former New Orleans police officers asked a federal judge Tuesday to let them out of jail on bond as they await a second trial in deadly shootings that followed Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Lawyers for former Sgts. Robert Gisevius and Kenneth Bowen and former officers Anthony Villavaso and Robert Faulcon said the four have been locked up for nearly six years, despite the overturning of their convictions in 2013. They remain jailed, and await a new trial, on civil rights charges arising from the deaths of two unarmed people and the wounding of four others on New Orleans’ Danziger Bridge less than a week after Katrina-related levee failures swamped the city.
U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt ordered a new trial citing prosecutors’ misconduct — including anonymous online comments about the case. A New Orleans-based federal appeals court has rejected prosecutors’ arguments to re-instate the convictions and defense lawyers say Engelhardt should now release them on bond.
“The defendants are willing to submit to whatever conditions of release the court deems necessary to assure their appearance at trial,” the bond motion states.
Defense lawyers say the four have spent almost as much time in what amounts to pre-trial detention as others who pleaded guilty in connection with the case. They also say that the four have had little or no contact with their children since they were locked up, and that Gisevius has never seen a daughter born a week after he was taken into custody.
“All of the defendants need to go home, even if temporarily, to provide their children with the guidance they were denied during those critical six lost years,” the motion says.
Two people died and four were hurt on Sept. 4, 2005, at the Danziger Bridge. Police said at the time of the shooting that the officers were responding to a report of other officers down when they came under fire.
However, after hearing from five dozen witnesses and examining 400 pieces of evidence during a monthlong trial, a federal jury convicted Bowen, Gisevius, Faulcon and Villavaso for opening fire and for efforts to cover up wrongdoing. Former Sgt. Arthur “Archie” Kaufman faces a new trial in the cover-up alone.
Faulcon was sentenced to 65 years in prison; Bowen and Gisevius, 40 years; Villavaso, 38; and Kaufman, now out on bond, six.
A scandal involving Justice Department employees would undo the conviction and sentences. In September 2013, Engelhardt said the case had been tainted by “grotesque prosecutorial misconduct,” including leaks to media and posting of anonymous comments by at least three government attorneys on a New Orleans newspaper’s website.
Prosecutors have argued that there is no evidence the misconduct affected the verdict.
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(Photo Source: NOLA.com)
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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