One count dropped in post-Katrina body burning case
NEW ORLEANS — A former New Orleans police officer convicted for burning the body of a man shot to death by another officer as the city coped with catastrophic flooding following Hurricane Katrina may get some time shaved off his 17-year prison sentence. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Tuesday that a recent Supreme Court ruling in another case involving destruction of records requires that one obstruction charge against former officer Gregory McRae be thrown out. The court refused to grant him a new trial, however. McRae remains convicted on two other charges in the burning of a car with Henry Glover’s body inside it. The 5th Circuit said the federal judge in McRae’s case will have to hold a new sentencing hearing. Glover was shot at a strip mall being guarded by police four days after Katrina hit in 2005. Although five people were originally tried in the case, McRae is now the only one convicted. McRae’s appeal for a new trial involved arguments that he was suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome when he set the car ablaze. Former officer David Warren was initially convicted on a federal manslaughter charge, but he won a new trial when an appeals court said he should have been tried separately from four other former officers charged in the coverup of Glover’s death. Warren was acquitted after testifying he feared for his life when he shot Glover.