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Orleans Coroner Frank Minyard: Henry Glover's death still undetermined

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NEW ORLEANS — Orleans Parish Coroner Frank Minyard says he does not have any new evidence that would make him change the death certificate to "homicide" for a man who was shot and burned by New Orleans police after Hurricane Katrina.

That means the cause of Henry Glover's death remains officially unknown.

"There is no new scientific evidence to base a reclassification and the U.S. attorney and the FBI have declined to present any additional evidence for me to evaluate and reclassify this death," Minyard wrote in a news release. "For this reason, I am today leaving this matter as Undetermined."

He agreed to reopen the investigation after a Dec. 16 protest by Glover's family and their supporters.

The family is upset but hopes coroner-elect Jeffery Rouse will re-open the case when his term begins in May, said Glover's aunt, Rebecca Glover.

Former officer David Warren was acquitted on federal charges after telling a jury that he thought he saw a gun in Glover's hand and was afraid for his life. He had been convicted in 2010, but that verdict was overturned because he was tried with officers accused of covering up the killing.

"I'm not giving up. Minyard's sitting there playing games, waiting till he leaves office," Rebecca Glover told the New Orleans Advocate (http://bit.ly/1mILR7f). "David Warren admitted in court he shot my nephew. It is what it is. We need some justice."

Minyard also said state Attorney General Buddy Caldwell declined to get involved, saying local prosecutors should be the ones to guide the coroner in evaluating cause of death.

However, a spokesman for District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro said that cannot happen at present.

"The district attorney has said as long as the federal prosecutions relating to the Glover matter are ongoing, that we would not open any investigations regarding it," Christopher Bowman told WWL-AM (http://bit.ly/1pJGQsl).

One officer's case, that of Gregory McRae, remains under appeal, though the same federal appeals panel that ordered a new trial for Warren upheld McRae's conviction. He was found guilty of burning Glover's body in a car after a good Samaritan drove the dying man to a makeshift police compound.

Prosecutors dropped charges against Travis McCabe, who had been accused of doctoring a police report, after his conviction with McRae and Warren was reversed. He is back in the New Orleans Police Department.

Former police lieutenants Robert Italiano and Dwayne Scheuermann were both acquitted.

The lack of a homicide classification may make murder prosecution impossible, Bowman told NOLA.com The Times-Picayune (http://bit.ly/1s4GAYE). "It's premature to speculate any further," he added.

He said Cannizzaro is answering a letter from the local NAACP chapter on behalf of the Glover family and would be "more than willing" to meet with the family.

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