New Orleans Police Detective admits to falsifying testimony in Katrina case

New Orleans Police Detective admits to falsifying testimony in Katrina case
Thursday, December 2, 2010 - 1:05pm

NEW ORLEANS, La (WDSU) -- The judge in the Henry Glover trial has advised a New Orleans police officer testifying in the case to get a lawyer and be aware of her rights before taking the stand.

Detective Catherine Beckett said Thursday that another officer -- Erin Riley -- told her that she lied before the grand jury about former Lt. Robert Italiano, who is charged with obstructing the federal investigation into Glover's death.

Beckett said Riley had an altercation with Italiano in 2006, which she said may have prompted the alleged lies. When asked why she didn't tell anyone about Riley's admission, Beckett said she "didn't trust the Justice Department."

Judge Lance Africk stopped testimony, sent the jury out of the room and advised Beckett of her rights, telling her to get a lawyer and return at noon if she wanted to resume testimony. Africk warned Beckett that she could face federal charges for obstructing justice.

Shortly afterward, U.S. Attorney Jim Letten and New Orleans Police Public Integrity Bureau Chief Arlinda Westbrook arrived in the courtroom.

It's the second time in two days that an officer not charged in the case -- in which five current and former officers are accused in Glover's death and cover-up -- has been advised to get a lawyer.

Joe Waguespack was supposed to take the stand Wednesday, but he was also advised to get an attorney and did not return to testify any further.

Glover, 31, was shot and killed outside an Algiers strip mall several days after Hurricane Katrina. His body was taken to police in a Good Samaritan's car, which was later found burned, with Glover's charred remains inside.

Former officer David Warren is charged with shooting Glover, and Lt. Gregory McRae and Lt. Dwayne Scheuermann are charged with destroying evidence by burning the car. Italiano and Lt. Travis McCabe are charged with obstructing the federal probe.


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