NEW ORLEANS - A jury was seated late Tuesday in the retrial of a former New Orleans police officer, who was previously convicted of fatally shooting an unarmed man in the storm’s chaotic aftermath.
According to our reporting partners at The New Orleans Advocate, the jury that will hear the case against ex-officer David Warren consists of eight women and four men. Four of the jurors are African-American. Opening statements are expected Wednesday.
Warren, 50, is on trial for violating the civil rights of 31-year-old Henry Glover. Warren admitted shooting Glover from the second-floor balcony of an Algiers strip mall from more than 50 feet away, but maintained he fired because he considered Glover to be a threat.
During the first trial in 2010, Warren faced a 12-person jury alongside four other officers who were accused of failing to render aid to the dying Glover, burning his body to cover up the shooting, then crafting a bogus police report to hide their misdeeds.
But the 5th Circuit Court of Appeal threw out Warren’s conviction and 25-year prison sentence, ruling that he should not have been tried along with the other four officers. At the time Glover was shot, Warren was about two miles away from his co-defendants, who were stationed at a makeshift compound at nearby Habans Elementary School.
With the severance, a new jury will not see many of the gruesome images from the first trial, evidence that included the torched car containing Glover’s body and his charred skull found in the back seat.
The trial is expected to last about two weeks, with prosecutors and defense attorneys listing potential witnesses ranging from Glover’s family members to police officers who were involved in the 2010 trial.
-With reporting by John Simerman, New Orleans Advocate & Mike Perlstein, WWL-TV