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The Latest: 10-year sentence in racial post-Katrina shooting

February 14, 2019

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Latest on the sentencing of a man for a race-based shotgun attack on three African-Americans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina (all times local):

2:35 p.m.

A white man who spewed racial epithets before and after a shotgun attack on three black men amid the chaotic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.

Fifty-six-year-old Roland Bourgeois (BOOH’-jwah) Jr. was sentenced Thursday by a federal judge, resolving one of the last high-profile court cases arising from violence that followed the 2005 storm.

Defense attorneys sought a shorter sentence for Bourgeois, noting the chaotic atmosphere in New Orleans and saying some trained police officers believed they had permission to shoot at looters at will.

But a prosecutor noted that the victims weren’t looters but people trying to evacuate. She called the actions of Bourgeois a racially motivated pre-meditated attempt to kill.

Bourgeois pleaded guilty to two federal criminal counts in October.

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9 a.m.

A drawn-out case of race-based gun violence amid the devastation of Hurricane Katrina is nearing its resolution in New Orleans.

A federal judge was set Thursday to sentence a 56-year-old white man, Roland Bourgeois (BOOH’-jwah) Jr., for a 2005 shotgun attack on three black men. It happened days after levee failures during Katrina flooded most of New Orleans.

Prosecutors said Bourgeois fired a shotgun at three black men, wounding one seriously. They say he had used racial epithets while talking about shooting black people and defending his neighborhood from “outsiders” after the storm.

Bourgeois was indicted in 2010. Numerous delays and hearings in the case were related to his physical and mental health.

He pleaded guilty to two federal criminal counts in October. Prosecutors said they would seek a 10-year sentence.

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