Paul Hardy Receives Life Sentence
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 21, 2011|
NEW ORLEANS, LA—PAUL HARDY, age 44, a resident of New Orleans, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Helen Ginger Berrigan to life in prison for the 1994 murder of Kim Marie Groves. Groves had filed a complaint against former New Orleans Police Officer Len Davis with the then-Internal Affairs Division of the New Orleans Police Department. When Davis found out about Ms. Groves’s complaint, he contacted HARDY and told him that he wanted the woman killed. Davis used police resources to find Ms. Groves and, once she was located, Davis apprised HARDY of her whereabouts. HARDY shot Ms. Groves once in the head at about 11:00 p.m. on October 13, 1994, in the 1400 block of Alabo Street in the Lower Ninth Ward. Ms. Groves died on the scene.
Both Davis and HARDY were tried for civil rights murder in April and May of 1996, and the jury convicted them and recommended the death sentence for both. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, however, affirmed the convictions in 1999 but remanded the case for new penalty hearings. The second penalty hearing against Davis was conducted a month before Hurricane Katrina struck and the jury once again recommended the death penalty for Davis. His sentence is being appealed.
In the meantime, Judge Berrigan ruled that HARDY was mentally retarded and thus ineligible for the death penalty, resulting in the mandatory life sentence that was imposed today.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael E. McMahon.