Darrell Fuller's statements to cops allowed as evidence in murder trial, judge rules
Darrell Fuller's statements to police and testimony from eyewitnesses who picked him out of lineups will be allowed as evidence at the alleged Nassau cop killer's upcoming trial.
In a ruling Thursday, Acting State Supreme Court Justice Jerald Carter rejected most defense arguments that sought to suppress prosecution evidence.
Carter said jurors will decide whether eyewitness identifications were credible or, as the defense claimed, tainted by media coverage in the hours between when police gave out Fuller's photo after he was in custody and when they did suspect lineups.
The judge also found Fuller showed he understood his Miranda rights and spoke to detectives "without any coercion or intimidation."
The defense had argued that Fuller's statements should be thrown out because police had him in custody for about 40 hours before arraignment, alleging an abuse of his rights to counsel and to be arraigned without delay.
A spokesman for the Nassau district attorney declined to comment on the ruling Friday, as did Fuller's Mineola lawyer, Kenneth St. Bernard.
Fuller, 34, of St. Albans, Queens, is facing life in prison without parole if a jury finds him guilty of first-degree murder. He has pleaded not guilty.
Authorities have alleged that in October 2012, Fuller shot and killed Nassau Officer Arthur Lopez, who approached his car near the Nassau-Queens border after Fuller fled an accident scene. They claim Fuller then drove south on the Cross Island Parkway before fatally shooting Raymond Facey, 58, of Brooklyn, and using his car to escape from the area. Prosecutors also say Fuller later "staged his own shooting" to try to make himself look like a victim.
In statements to detectives, Fuller first said he didn't remember anything about any confrontations after he left a hospital and headed home on the Cross Island Parkway on the day of the slayings. He later denied killing anyone and also told police he didn't remember who shot him.
On Monday, authorities will start prescreening potential jurors for his trial. Once the trial starts, Carter's ruling will limit evidence prosecutors can introduce related to medical records of the defendant, who told police he is a dialysis patient.