Judge denies 11th-hour Nagin request regarding web posts - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Judge denies 11th-hour Nagin request regarding web posts

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NEW ORLEANS - It is an issue that got new trials for five former police officers in the Danziger case, but attorneys for former Mayor Ray Nagin have come up short in their effort to see if it might work in his defense.

A magistrate judge issued a ruling Tuesday denying a Nagin request to release background documents in a Justice Department report on prosecutorial misconduct. That misconduct concerns former employees of the U.S. Attorney's Office who made online comments under aliases about several defendants including Ray Nagin.

Those comments have helped get guilty verdicts thrown out against five former officers convicted in the fatal shootings of two people on the Danziger Bridge in the days after Katrina. Nagin attorney Robert Jenkins wanted background information on a Justice Department investigation into the improper web posts to determine if it would be useful to Nagin's defense.

At Monday's hearing, Magistrate Judge Alma Chasez indicated some skepticism and this afternoon ruled that he's not entitled to information used in a recent DOJ report.

"The judge said from the bench that the case law supports the prosecution and not the defense, and also she says since the trial is ahead of us, and not behind us," said FOX 8 legal analyst Joe Raspanti. "Judge Berrigan will be able to cure these problems by questioning the prospective jurors to make sure they are not tainted by this incident."

Unlike Danziger, the online comments about former Mayor Nagin were made years before trial.

There is no word yet on what Nagin's attorneys next move will be, but the clock is ticking. Nagin's corruption trial is set to begin Oct. 28.

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