A federal judge Monday postponed until next month the resentencing of Gregory McRae, a former New Orleans police officer convicted of igniting Henry Glover’s corpse in the days after Hurricane Katrina.
McRae had been scheduled to appear in court Tuesday to learn his new punishment, but U.S. District Judge Lance Africk rescheduled the hearing for Aug. 15. A brief order announcing the new date did not explain the delay.
McRae’s defense attorney, Mike Fawer, said neither side requested the continuance but the judge wanted more time to research the issues.
McRae, who was previously sentenced to 17 years in prison but had part of his conviction vacated on appeal, has insisted he did not know Glover had been fatally shot by fellow Officer David Warren at the time he set the body ablaze in a vehicle on the Algiers levee.
He maintains he was driven to burn the corpse by a lack of sleep and post-traumatic stress disorder he endured during the chaotic aftermath of the storm. Prosecutors alleged the burning was meant to further a police cover-up.
Africk asked the U.S. Attorney’s Office to respond by Friday to an impassioned request made by Fawer last week in which he requested leniency on the part of McRae, the only defendant who remains imprisoned in the Glover case. Fawer acknowledged that, under the law, McRae faces a minimum of 10 years behind bars, but he said that amount of time is “unwarranted.”
McRae, 53, was one of three NOPD officers found guilty in the Glover case in 2010, while two others were acquitted. Warren, the officer who shot Glover, initially was convicted but was acquitted during a retrial last year. Federal prosecutors, meanwhile, decided not to retry Lt. Travis McCabe, another officer convicted in the alleged cover-up who later had his conviction set aside.
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