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Judge declares mistrial in case against retired La. sergeant in post-Katrina shootings
NEW ORLEANS (AP) ' A federal judge has declared a mistrial in the case against a retired police sergeant charged with helping cover up deadly shootings on a New Orleans bridge after Hurricane Katrina.
U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt ruled Friday that Justice Department prosecutor Bobbi Bernstein may have tainted the jury hearing Gerard Dugue's trial by mentioning the name of a man who was beaten to death by a New Orleans police officer in a case unrelated to Dugue's case.
Engelhardt rejected Bernstein's claim that merely mentioning Raymond Robair's name couldn't amount to any prejudice against Dugue.
Dugue denied participating in a cover-up, saying he didn't learn until years later that police shot innocent, unarmed people on the Danziger Bridge.
Bernstein says she couldn't comment on if prosecutors will retry the case.