Danziger victim's brother speaks out about possible retrial - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Danziger victim's brother speaks out about possible retrial

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New Orleans, La. -

The brother of one of the Danziger Bridge shooting victims says it would be a slap in the face for the family to have to relive a trial that took six years to prosecute.  That comes as a judge pushes to have the U.S. Justice Department look into the possibility that another staff member from the U.S. Attorney's office made online posts about an ongoing case.

It was a trial that never materialized in criminal court, and was only brought to federal court after the victims' family spoke out. 

Now, defense attorneys are fighting for a new trial, following the revelation of online commentaries by former First Assistant U.S. Attorney Jan Mann.

FOX 8 News received a statement from Romell Madison, whose brother Ronald was one of two people killed on the Danziger Bridge. Madison said it would be "a slap in the face for those who believe in justice, that through some technicalities, we might have to re-live the whole thing over again."

"Jim Letten is a good man and that was a good prosecution, and to taint it is a problem legally and ethically,"said veteran defense attorney Jason Williams.

Though Mann was removed from the first assistant post, she remains in the U.S. Attorney's office as she's being scrutinized for possibly lying to federal agents. 

This week, Judge Kurt Engelhardt issued an order, saying that his court is "concerned that the activities of [former chief federal prosecutor Sal] Perricone, and former First AUSA Mann, both those of commission and those of omission, might also constitute prosecutable criminal conduct."

Sources say Mann may have obstructed justice by lying to investigators with the Justice Department when they looked into who else besides Sal Perricone was posting comments on the web.

"That's the same charge that Jim Brown was found guilty of. He made misrepresentations and that cost him six months of his life," said Williams.

Mann was also present and said nothing as Letten represented to Judge Engelhardt that there were no other web posters besides Perricone -- a statement which the judge himself calls "grossly misinformed."

"I guarantee you that defense attorneys are spending time with every web post and news stories and trying to make a correlation," said Williams.

Williams says, while it's all problematic, it's not clear at this point if the misdeeds rise to the level that would force a new trial for the Danziger defendants.

Meantime, Congressman Cedric Richmond is joining Judge Engelhardt in calling for a special prosecutor to come in and investigate.

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