FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                          CR
WEDNESDAY, MAY 1, 1996                             (202) 616-2765
                                               TDD (202) 514-1888

                    HIT MAN SENTENCED TO DEATH

     WASHINGTON, D.C. --  A former New Orleans police officer and
a hit man have been sentenced to death by a federal jury for
conspiring to murder a woman who filed a civil rights complaint
against the officer and his partner, the Justice Department
announced today.
     A jury in U.S. District Court in New Orleans convicted
former New Orleans police officer Len Davis of violating federal
criminal civil rights laws by soliciting Paul Hardy to murder Kim
Marie Groves, a New Orleans woman, after she filed a civil rights
complaint against Davis and his partner.  
     "This is a sober moment.  Civil rights crimes are serious
under any circumstances and when police officers break the laws
they have sworn to uphold, they betray us all," said Assistant
Attorney General for Civil Rights Deval L. Patrick.  "Most
officers are decent, hard-working individuals who risk their
lives every day to protect their communities.  But we will not
hesitate to punish those who cross over the line -- to seek
simple justice and to restore the community's faith.   We respect
the jury's decision."
     On October 12, 1994 Groves complained to the Internal
Affairs Division of the New Orleans Police Department that Davis
and his partner Sammie Williams had beaten a young man without
justification.  After learning about the complaint, Davis
solicited Hardy to kill Groves.  On October 13, Hardy, aided by a
third defendant, Damon Causey, carried out the murder, and all
three were found guilty last Wednesday.
     The jury sentenced Davis to death last Friday.  Today it
sentenced Hardy to death.  Causey is scheduled to be sentenced on
July 10, 1996.
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