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Dec 30, 1899 12:00 AM by Sharlee Barriere

Deadline Extended for Death Penalty Decision

NEW ORLEANS (AP) A federal judge has extended a deadline for the Justice Department to decide whether to seek the death penalty against four current or former New Orleans police officers charged in deadly shootings on a bridge after Hurricane Katrina.

At the request of defense attorneys, U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt agreed Tuesday to give prosecutors until Sept. 10 to announce a decision. The deadline had been Aug. 31.

An indictment last month charged Sgts. Robert Gisevius and Kenneth Bowen, officer Anthony Villavaso and former officer Robert Faulcon with deprivation of rights under color of law and use of a weapon during the commission of a crime. The charges carry a maximum sentence of life in prison or the death penalty.

Two people were killed and four others wounded by police on the Danziger Bridge less than a week after the storm.

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