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Judge Orders New Trial in New Orleans Police Case

Federal judge Lance Africk today voided the conviction of former New Orleans police lieutenant Travis McCabe, who was found guilty of falsifying a police report and misleading federal investigators about the murder of Henry Glover.

Africk ordered a second trial for McCabe.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, an NOPD officer murdered Glover and another burned his corpse, leaving his charred remains on a Mississippi River levee. (For more on the case, which ProPublica has been following since 2008, see our complete coverage of the troubled New Orleans Police Department here.) Late last year, a jury convicted McCabe and two other ex-cops in connection to the killing and cover-up.

The prosecution's case against McCabe's centered on a police report about Glover's shooting by then-officer David Warren, who was armed with an assault rifle. According to prosecutors, after one officer wrote a report accurately depicting the shooting, McCabe rewrote the document, sanitizing it.

After the jury verdict came down, McCabe petitioned the court, saying he had obtained new evidence clearing him of the charge -- a second version of the report, which shows that he didn't materially alter the document. According to McCabe, the second document surfaced only after the trial.

In his 16-page order, Africk said the "newly discovered evidence casts grave doubt on the criminal conviction that the government secured against" the former cop.

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