In Darrell Fuller case, judge OKs blood evidence


Accused cop killer Darrell Fuller leaves the Nassau County Courthouse on Monday, July 7, 2014 in Mineola. Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

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Prosecutors can introduce evidence showing homicide victim Raymond Facey's blood was on a sweatshirt that accused cop killer Darrell Fuller allegedly dumped while fleeing police, a judge ruled Monday.

Fuller, 34, of Queens, is on trial on first-degree murder charges connected to the Oct. 23, 2012, slayings of Nassau Police Officer Arthur Lopez and Facey, 58, a construction worker from Brooklyn.

Acting State Supreme Court Justice Jerald Carter gave his ruling outside the Mineola jury's presence, saying he previously told prosecutors not to mention the DNA evidence in opening statements because the defense had heard about it only a few days before.

Carter's decision also applies to evidence the prosecution has said will show that Facey's blood was on sweatpants police seized from Fuller as he was treated at a hospital for gunshot wounds several hours after the killings.

Authorities have said Fuller fled an accident scene at Northern Boulevard and the Cross Island Parkway before shooting Lopez, 29, an Emergency Service Unit member, during a traffic stop near the corner of 241st Street and Jamaica Avenue on the Nassau-Queens border. Fuller then drove his disabled car a short way south on the Cross Island Parkway before shooting Facey and fleeing in the man's car, according to prosecutors.

They've also said that an eyewitness who followed Fuller from the parkway saw him toss a gray hooded sweatshirt in the yard of a Queens home. Authorities also claim Fuller had a friend shoot him later so he could look like a third victim.

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Defense lawyer Kenneth St. Bernard of Mineola had objected to use of the blood evidence. He argued in a legal filing that Fuller's defense was prepared "under the illusion that the People's most damning proof was primarily in the nature of identification evidence."

St. Bernard also objected to the timing of a June 6 evidence report, which the prosecution disclosed after jury selection ended and before the trial's June 9 opening statements.

But the Nassau district attorney's office argued in a legal filing that while additional genetic testing was finished and disclosed after jury selection, it was still timely under the law.

"The results were disclosed as soon as they were made available to the people," prosecutors said.

Carter said the defense has since had time to consult with experts and examine the science and the credentials of the prosecution's experts, and there was "no inherent prejudice" regarding the evidence's admission.

Also Monday, a forensic scientist, Julia Patterson, told jurors that a test kit police had used on Fuller at the hospital showed his right hand had gunshot residue on it.

But during cross-examination, Patterson said it was possible for gunshot residue to end up not just on a shooter, but on someone who was near a gun that fired or touched a surface with the residue on it.

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