Coram man pleads not guilty in shooting of Suffolk officer

Police say Janell Funderburke shot officer Michael LaFauci in the leg earlier this month during an investigation of an armed robbery.

Krista McNally

May 25, 2023, 4:27 PM

Updated 334 days ago

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A Coram man accused of shooting a Suffolk police officer pleaded not guilty Thursday afternoon.
Police say Janell Funderburke shot officer Michael LaFauci in the leg earlier this month during an investigation of an armed robbery.
Funderburke pleaded not guilty to a 13-count indictment that included new charges against the 20-year-old. Twelve of those counts are felonies.
Funderburke's lawyer tells News 12 his client never intended to kill the officer.
"The fact that Officer LaFauci was shot in the leg is significant," said Christopher Cassar, the defense attorney. "Not in the chest, not in the head, so clearly he did not have an intent to kill."
"If you fire a firearm at someone, you are attempting to kill them," said Louis Civello with the Suffolk PBA.
The defense also claims the suspect is bipolar and has post-traumatic stress disorder.
If convicted, Funderburke faces a maximum sentence of 40 years to life that could run consecutive with a 25-year sentence for the robbery charges.
He currently has pending weapon and drug charges against him for crimes allegedly committed before the shooting.
Funderburke was remanded without bail and is due back in court on June 12.


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