The would-be getaway driver for a man accused of shooting a Nassau police officer in New Hyde Park has struck a deal with prosecutors to testify at his co-defendant's attempted murder trial.
Court records show Renhang Qiu, 23, of Brooklyn, pleaded guilty to burglary in exchange for a seven-year prison sentence if he testifies truthfully at Cong Xu's trial.
Prosecutors dropped other charges against Renhang that had included attempted robbery, assault and weapon counts. Assistant District Attorney Christine Geier spoke of the cooperation agreement Monday as Cong, a 22-year-old Chinese national who had been working upstate as a waiter, appeared in court with an interpreter.
Acting state Supreme Court Justice Philip Grella set the trial to start Sept. 15.
Court records show Cong told police after his arrest following the Aug. 14, 2013, incident that he had a gun when he went into a Campbell Street house to burglarize it. But he said he encountered people inside and fled. Once outside, he saw police as he tried to find the getaway car and ignored their commands not to move.
"I still wanted to get away. I turned around to my left side and fired about three shots from the gun towards the lawn," his statement said.
Cong said in his statement he fired again while trying to climb a fence by a schoolyard. Police caught both suspects in the neighborhood.
"What I can say is I am going to defend my client appropriately and to my best ability," his attorney, Mingli Chen of Flushing, Queens, said Monday.
Renhang's lawyer didn't return a message Monday afternoon.
Police Officer Mohit Arora, who joined the Nassau police force in 2007, suffered a gunshot to his lower abdomen after responding to a 911 call in connection with the break-in. The bullet went out of his right hip, according to authorities, who said he needed surgery to repair it.
Another prosecutor previously told the judge that Arora agreed with the terms of the agreement by Renhang, who told authorities he's related to one of the owners of the house that was targeted.