Trial begins for ex-con Darrell Fuller in death of Nassau ESU Officer Arthur Lopez
MINEOLA - Opening statements were heard today in the trial of an ex-convict who stands accused of gunning down a Nassau County officer and a bystander in 2012.
Darrell Fuller is accused of gunning down Nassau ESU Officer Arthur Lopez and then killing a Brooklyn dad, Raymond Facey.
Prosecutors say Lopez had witnessed Fuller leave the scene of a minor car accident in October 2012. When Lopez confronted Fuller with a Taser, Fuller allegedly shot him. Prosecutors say Fuller then fled the scene and allegedly shot Facey during a carjacking on the Cross Island Parkway before heading into Queens. Investigators say they caught up with Fuller several hours later, after he allegedly shot himself to make it appear that he was a victim.
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The emotional opening statements in the case prompted some of the victims' relatives to leave the courtroom. Members of the jury appeared to tear up as the prosecutor in the case recounted how Lopez was shot in the heart and Facey was shot twice in the head as he spoke on his cellphone to his daughter.
The prosecution told the jury they have six witnesses to prove Fuller killed Lopez and Facey. The defense argued that while "a witness may think they're telling the truth, sometimes they are mistaken."
Nassau police officers turned out in force for the start of the trial, and Nassau PBA President James Carver angrily denounced Fuller today. "The manly thing to do would be to just plead guilty, get this over with and spend the rest of your life in jail where you belong," he said.
Facey's widow says she and her family are trying to cope with grief. "Every day is getting harder for me, living alone in my house, all by myself, because he chose to take my husband from me," she said.
Fuller faces life in prison without parole if convicted. The trial is expected to last several weeks.