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Officer to appeal sentence in post-Katrina burned body case

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NEW ORLEANS — A former New Orleans police officer has given formal notice that he will appeal his 17-year prison sentence for burning the body of a man who was shot by another officer after Hurricane Katrina.

Gregory McRae's notice of appeal was filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in New Orleans. The notice filed by defense lawyer Michael Fawer also says McRae is appealing a district judge's denial of a motion for a new trial.

McRae is imprisoned for burning the body of Henry Glover. Fawer has said McRae was sleep-deprived and mentally unsound when he burned the body, and that McRae did not know at the time that Glover was the victim of a police shooting.

McRae, 53, had been convicted in 2010 on federal charges related to the burning of Glover's body. He was sentenced to 17 years and three months. A federal appeals court threw out one conviction and ordered re-sentencing. U.S. District Judge Lance Africk last week imposed the same sentence.

Africk rejected defense motions for departures from federal sentencing guidelines. They included Fawer's arguments regarding McRae's mental state and sleep deprivation following the 2005 hurricane.

Africk said McRae was guilty of covering up an unlawful killing by fellow Officer David Warren, even though Warren was eventually acquitted in Glover's shooting.

Africk also rejected Fawer's argument that there was no evidence McRae actually knew Glover had been shot by a police officer when he set fire to a car containing Glover's body on Sept. 2, 2005.

Glover was shot at a strip mall being guarded by police four days after Katrina hit. Warren eventually was acquitted after testifying he feared for his life when he shot Glover because he thought he saw a gun in Glover's hand.

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