Defense attorneys say appeals coming in Danziger case

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wwltv.com

Posted on August 5, 2011 at 5:40 PM

Updated Friday, Aug 5 at 11:06 PM

Tania Dall / Eyewitness News

NEW ORLEANS -- After the Danziger verdict, emotional moments for the NOPD officers on trial and their families.

"It's family. Family is going to be sad no matter what,” said defense attorney Frank DeSalvo.

DeSalvo's client is Sgt. Kenneth Bowen, accused of shooting unarmed men and women on the bridge and covering up the incident. Jurors said he was guilty of both crimes.

DeSalvo said Bowen will likely appeal.

"My client is fine,” DeSalvo said. “He's very optimistic. He's ready to continue the fight."

Defense attorney Paul Fleming said his client, Robert Faulcon, will fight Friday’s verdict. Faulcon was also found guilty of shooting at civilians and taking part in the post-Katrina cover-up.

"Obviously we're disappointed in the verdict, but we're not finished yet,” Fleming said.

Had the jury been from outside New Orleans, Roger Kitchens, the defense attorney for Anthony Villavaso, believes the verdict would have changed.

"I think if we tried the case somewhere else and had a jury that hadn't listened to all the pre-trial publicity going into today we would have a completely different outcome,” he said.

Jurors handed down guilty verdicts to Villavaso, also found guilty of shooting at unarmed civilians and aiding in the police cover-up.

Sgt. Robert Gisevius faced identical charges and was also found guilty.

"I still believe that the circumstances and the facts that presented themselves during Katrina caused a whole litany of problems for the officers on the streets,” said Eric Hessler, Gisevius’ attorney. “I think it put them in bad position, and decisions were the results of that. It should never happen again."

With the trial finally over, Hessler is in agreement with prosecutors -- hopefully the Danziger trial will bring about change in the city.

"I hope this trial and everything else shows that the city is better prepared and that this won't happen again," Hessler said.

The defense attorney for Sgt. Arthur Kaufman wasn't available for comment. Kaufman was found guilty of helping in the cover-up.

Kaufman is the only officer free on bond until sentencing in December.

 

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