McRae admitted to setting car on fire with man’s body inside
The convicted former New Orleans police officer who admitted driving Henry Glover’s body to an Algiers levee and setting the car aflame in 2005 wants a judge to push back his resentencing date while he argues for a new trial.
Gregory McRae, who remains in prison, is scheduled to be resentenced Jan. 9 because an appeals court last year tossed out one of the four charges for which he was convicted in 2010. The bulk of the 17-year sentence imposed by U.S. District Judge Lance Africk would remain intact.
However, McRae filed another appeal for a new trial last month, citing newly discovered information. He also claims he had an unfair trial because of federal hijinks that included a blogging scandal involving top prosecutors inside former U.S. Attorney Jim Letten’s office and alleged leaks of grand jury and FBI information to reporters.
McRae contends he never saw a psychologist’s report, produced prior to his 2011 sentencing, that found “symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of his experiences during and after Hurricane Katrina.” McRae’s lawyers claim they did not get a copy of the report until October.
A hearing on that appeal is now slated for Jan. 30. McRae’s attorney, Michael Fawer, has asked the judge to delay the resentencing until after that hearing.
The appeals court last year upheld the convictions against McRae for use of fire to commit a felony, obstruction of a federal investigation and denying a man a right to be free of unreasonable search and seizure. It found there was not enough evidence to support his conviction for denying Glover’s survivors the right to access the courts.
McRae’s motion for a new trial was filed Dec. 5, as former NOPD patrolman David Warren stood trial for a second time. Warren was accused of fatally shooting Glover without justification from the second-floor breezeway of an Algiers strip mall four days after Hurricane Katrina.
McRae’s appeal for a new trial partly mirrors Warren’s successful argument that being tried with four other officers accused of different crimes tainted the case against him with a thick suggestion of conspiracy. Although prosecutors in that 2010 trial tried to suggest that the five officers on trial likely knew about each other’s actions, the five were not charged with conspiracy. Two officers were accused of writing a false report, two were accused of burning the body and one was accused in the shooting.
The jury in Warren’s second trial heard nothing of the burning of Glover’s body or the alleged cover-up, and it acquitted Warren after 14 hours of deliberation.
McRae argues that he never knew he was burning the body of someone shot by a fellow policeman and was unaware of any cover-up.
According to Fawer’s motion, federal prosecutors have no objection to a delay in McRae’s sentencing.