Dennis Woltering / Eyewitness News
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NEW ORLEANS -- The next chapter in the Danziger shooting case unfolds Wednesday when a federal judge sentences the five former New Orleans police officers whom a jury found guilty last August, and the punishment is expected to be severe.

The five former New Orleans police officers convicted in the Danziger Bridge shooting case are all looking at a lot of time in prison if Judge Kurt Englehart follows federal sentencing guidelines.

'The guidelines for each of these defendants is stratospheric,' said Eyewitness News legal analyst and former prosecutor Donald 'Chick' Foret.

In the Danziger shooting, just four days after Hurricane Katrina, NOPD officers shot and killed 17-year-old James Brissette and 40-year-old Ronald Madison. The officers also wounded four other unarmed civilians they found on the bridge after getting a call that shots had been fired in that area.

Three of the former officers convicted last summer, former Sgt. Kenneth Bowen, former Sgt. Ronald Gisevius and former Officer Anthony Villavaso were found guilty of the shooting and guilty of the coverup that followed.

Each of them were convicted of conspiracy, deprivation of civil rights and firearms charges. The mandatory minimum sentence is 35 years.

But former Officer Robert Faulcon faces the most time. He was found guilty of both the coverup and the shooting, and he's the only one found guilty of depriving the two men who were killed -- James Brisette and Ronald Madison -- of their civil rights.

'And when you talk about Robert Faulcon, he's probably in the 60 year range,' Foret said.

The fifth ex-cop, former Sgt. Archie Kaufman, wasn't involved in the actual shooting. He was found guilty of the coverup, guilty of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and fabricating witnesses. He faces the least amount of time, about 10 to 12 years.

Kaufman is the only one of the five who is not already in prison. Foret said he could be sent to prison after he is sentenced, as all five officers appeal their convictions.

U.S. Attorney Jim Letten said the case should send a message to public officials, police and the people they serve.

'Any abuse of power, especially that power that violates the rights and the civil liberties of our citizens, will have serious consequences,' Letten said on August 5, 2011.

Foret said it will take months for the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to rule on the appeals from the former officers.

Sentencing is set for Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. Stay with and Channel 4 for updates.

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