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Apr 4, 2012 9:47 AM by AP

Cops face decades in prison for Katrina shootings

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A case that became the centerpiece of the Justice Department's push to clean up the troubled New Orleans Police Department draws to a close Wednesday, as a federal judge sentences five former police officers for their roles in deadly shootings of unarmed residents on a bridge after Hurricane Katrina.

U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt is expected to hand down sentences after hours of testimony that begins at 8:30 a.m. CDT.

Four of the five officers convicted last year face decades in prison under sentencing guidelines. While Engelhardt isn't bound by those guidelines, Kenneth Bowen, Robert Gisevius, Anthony Villavaso and Robert Faulcon were convicted of firearms charges that carry mandatory minimum sentences. Arthur Kaufman, a retired sergeant convicted of participating in a cover-up, faces significantly less prison time under the guidelines.

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