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Ex-New Orleans police officer sentenced

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- For a second time, a jury on Tuesday decided on a death sentence for a former New Orleans police officer who ordered the killing of a woman who had filed a brutality complaint against him.

Len Davis was a "godfather on the street to a hit squad," prosecutor Mike McMahon had told jurors on Monday.

Davis was convicted in 1996 of violating the civil rights of Kim Groves by having her killed. He was sentenced to death but that sentence was thrown out on appeal and a resentencing hearing was ordered.

A judge will have the final say on the death sentence chosen by the jury.


Defense attorneys had sought a life sentence, saying Davis was trying to trap Groves in a drug deal and she was killed coincidentally.

"Death should be for the worst of the worst. It should be for the incorrigible. For someone who's never done any good in his life. It doesn't fit here,'" defense attorney Julian Murray argued.

At the time of Groves' killing in October 1994, Davis was the target of an FBI drug sting that included a tap on his telephone.

Davis' call to convicted hitman Paul Hardy ordering Groves' killing was recorded. So was his reaction to news that she had been shot: "Yeah, yeah, yeah. Rock, rock-a-bye!"

Hardy also was sentenced to death and is scheduled for a resentencing hearing in October.

Eleven police officers were convicted in the drug sting, including Davis, who got an additional sentence of life in prison.

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