Ronell Wilson case: Judge not worried about publicity

Ronell Wilson was convicted in 2006 of murdering

Ronell Wilson was convicted in 2006 of murdering NYPD cops James Nemorin of Baldwin Harbor and Rodney Andrews of Middle Village during a 2003 undercover drug buy. (March 13, 2003) Photo Credit: Robert Mecea

advertisement | advertise on newsday

The federal judge in the Ronell Wilson death penalty case said Thursday he had only limited worries about the impact that publicity about the convicted cop killer's affair with a federal prison guard will have on prospective jurors.

"Many people do not read newspapers, do not watch television news, and know nothing about this," said U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis. " . . . I don't want to make light of this. But think there's more concern about whether Beyoncé is lip syncing."

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Wilson was convicted in 2006 of shooting two cops during an undercover gun buy in Staten Island in 2003, but his death sentence was overturned on appeal. A new jury trial on his penalty is planned this year. Last week, guard Nancy Gonzalez of Huntington Station was accused of having an affair in jail with Wilson and carrying his baby.

At Thursday's hearing on the upcoming trial to decide whether Wilson gets live in prison or is executed, Garaufis said he plans to have 2000 potential jurors fill out questionnaires as the first step in jury selection.

Defense lawyer David Stern said he expects to file a motion seeking a change in location of the trial due to potentially prejudicial publicity about Wilson.

The best of Newsday every day in your inbox. Get the Newsday Now newsletter!

Comments now uses Facebook for our comment boards. Please read our guidelines and connect your Facebook account to comment.

You also may be interested in: