Aug 3, 2010 9:53 PM by Alison Haynes
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A federal magistrate ruled Tuesday that a
former New Orleans police officer accused of shooting two unarmed
men days after Hurricane Katrina cannot be released before trial
because he is dangerous and a flight risk.
Magistrate Judge Louis Moore ordered Robert Faulcon, one of four
defendants who could face the death penalty if convicted, held
Faulcon pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to 12 federal counts
connected to the Sept. 4, 2005, shootings on the Danziger bridge
and the alleged cover-up. Charges against him include deprivation
of rights under color of law and use of a weapon while committing a
Defense attorneys argued that Faulcon has shown he will show up
in court by doing so since his release on bond in Texas. His
parents and a brother testified that they would post bond for him.
He is accused of shooting a mentally disabled man in the back
and, with Officer Anthony Villavaso and Sgts. Robert Gisevius and
Kenneth Bowen, is accused of shooting at an unarmed family,
wounding four people and killing a 17-year-old.
The other three also are being held without bond. They have
asked Moore to change his mind, saying they have proved they won't
flee by showing up for hearings on state murder charges that also
carried a possible death penalty.
The federal investigation began after a state judge threw out
the Louisiana charges, saying prosecutors broke state law by
divulging secret grand jury testimony to a police officer who was a
witness in the case.
Five former police officers have pleaded guilty to participating
in a cover-up of the shootings; a sergeant and a retired sergeant
also are accused in the alleged cover-up.