Judge refuses to free ex-New Orleans cop on bond

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A federal judge refused Monday to free a former New Orleans police officer on bond while he awaits a retrial on charges he shot and killed a man without justification outside a strip mall in Hurricane Katrina's aftermath.

U.S. District Judge Lance Africk ruled it is necessary to keep David Warren in custody due the "nature of the alleged offenses" and the serious penalties he faces if he's convicted again. Warren's attorneys argued he isn't a flight risk and doesn't pose a danger to the public.

Africk, however, said in his ruling that "no condition or combination of conditions of release will reasonably assure his appearance and the safety of any other person and the community."

Warren was convicted of manslaughter for fatally shooting 31-year-old Henry Glover in 2005. Another officer later burned Glover's body in a car. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a new trial for Warren in December, ruling Africk should have separated Warren's trial from that of four other officers charged with participating in a cover-up.

Warren's attorneys have argued that one of the counts he faces should be dismissed, claiming the underlying statute is unconstitutional. Africk said the defense lawyers can renew their bond request if he agrees to dismiss that count.

"In the interim, the Court will not assume the unconstitutionality of the statute," the judge wrote. U.S. Rep. Reid Ribble, a Wisconsin Republican, supported Warren's bond request. In a letter to the judge dated March 11, Ribble said the Wisconsin native is regarded as a "law-abiding citizen" and devoted family man who isn't a flight risk or danger to the community.

Warren has remained in federal custody since his 2010 indictment. One of the charges he faced carries a maximum sentence of life in prison or the death sentence, but the Justice Department declined to seek the latter in Warren's case. Africk had sentenced Warren to more than 25 years in prison before the 5th Circuit reversed his convictions. His retrial is scheduled to start on Aug. 26.

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