MINEOLA, N.Y. - A New York City parolee has been convicted of killing a suburban New York police officer who saw him get in a car crash, and then killing a second man during his getaway.
Darrell Fuller, 34, is facing a sentence of life without parole following his conviction Monday of first-degree murder, robbery and weapon charges stemming from the 2012 killing of Nassau County Police Officer Arthur Lopez and carjacking victim Raymond Facey near Belmont Park racetrack on Long Island.
The Nassau County courtroom was crowded with the victims' relatives, who wept quietly as the verdict was read, and a large contingent of police officers. The defendant had no visible reaction.
Prosecutors said Lopez and his partner, Clarence Hudson, were patrolling near the Nassau-Queens counties border when they saw a car driven by Fuller collide with a van. Fuller allegedly drove away and the officers pursued him onto the Cross Island Parkway.
Fuller left the highway at the next exit, apparently driving with at least one flat tire. Lopez approached Fuller, who by that time was out of his vehicle. The officer had a stun gun in his hand when prosecutors say Fuller opened fire from about 5 feet away. The 29-year-old officer fell backward and collapsed; he was declared dead at a hospital.
Prosecutors said moments later Fuller shot and killed Facey, who was stopped along the parkway making a cellphone call, and stole his car.
Fuller fled into a Queens neighborhood, but was arrested hours later. Authorities said he first fled to a nearby day care center, where he called a friend to pick him up. That friend later shot Fuller in the arm and leg in an attempt to make it appear that Fuller had been a victim of the carnage, prosecutors said.
Fuller served four years in prison after pleading guilty to attempted murder in 2005, authorities said. He was jailed again in 2010 after violating his parole on a drug arrest and was released in 2011, prosecutors said.
The verdict came after a seven-week trial; testimony was limited to three days a week because Fuller needed the other two days to receive kidney dialysis treatments, officials said.
Fuller's court-appointed attorney, Kenneth St. Bernard, didn't call any defense witnesses.