Suspect faces murder charges, sea of cops
The Queens parolee accused of fatally shooting a Nassau cop and a carjack victim faced first-degree murder charges and a sea of the slain officer's colleagues who stood en masse during his first court appearance Thursday.
Darrell Fuller, 33, wearing the handcuffs of Police Officer Arthur Lopez, the decorated cop he allegedly gunned down Tuesday morning, was held without bail after being arraigned at First District Court in Hempstead on two counts of first-degree murder as well as robbery and weapon possession charges.
"This is a man who should rot in hell -- who should never see the light of day again," James Carver, president of Lopez's union, the Nassau Police Benevolent Association, said afterward.
About 100 police officers, some wearing blue uniforms and others in plainclothes, crowded the courtroom, the vestibule and the hallway of the courthouse on behalf of Lopez, 29, of Babylon Village.
The grieving family and widow of the carjack victim, Raymond Facey, 58, of Brooklyn, sat in a front row of the courtroom.
Fuller wasn't required to enter a plea. He spoke only seven words -- when Nassau Judge Christopher Quinn was deciding whether Fuller qualified for a government-provided lawyer. Asked whether he's employed, Fuller said, "It's been a while. I am disabled." Quinn assigned the legal aid.
Prosecutor Mitchell Benson said that Fuller, after gunning down Lopez and Facey, "staged his own shooting" in a failed attempt to make himself look like an "innocent victim." Investigators believe he may have had an accomplice inflict those superficial wounds after the crime spree along the Queens-Nassau border.
"He did reach out to associates, he did engineer a situation in which he would be wounded, apparently to try to create the impression that he was an innocent victim and not a perpetrator," Benson said after the proceedings.
Gerald Williams, 27, of Kew Gardens, was arrested by NYPD and Nassau County police and charged Tuesday with criminal possession of a weapon. Queens Judge John Zoll ordered Williams held on $500,000 bond or $250,000 cash bail at the arraignment last night in Queens Criminal Court in Kew Gardens. His attorney, Lori Zeno, did not comment.
The Queens district attorney's office said Williams told police that he saw Fuller at 10:53 a.m. Tuesday with the would-be murder weapon at an intersection in the borough.
About 11 minutes later, at 241st Street near Jericho Turnpike, according to Nassau prosecutors, Lopez, with his partner in a marked vehicle, stopped a Honda being driven by Fuller, who then allegedly shot Lopez in the chest as he approached the car.
After shooting Lopez, police said, Fuller carjacked Facey, who was on the side of the Cross Island Parkway making a cellphone call, pulling him from his Toyota Camry, shooting him and leaving his body on the ground.
Investigators said they found the murder weapon used to kill Lopez and Facey, a Ruger 9-mm semiautomatic pistol, and another weapon, a TEC-9 semiautomatic firearm, in the trunk of a Nissan Altima belonging to Williams' girlfriend. Williams allowed Fuller to use the vehicle that day, prosecutors allege.
Authorities did not explain how they know that, or when and why Fuller switched from the Honda to the Altima, or what they believe to be Williams' involvement.
Fuller is on parole, having had been convicted in 2005 of attempted murder after shooting another man in a parking spot dispute. In 2010, Fuller violated parole when he was arrested on felony drug sale and possession charges.
He took a misdemeanor plea deal, was sentenced to a year's incarceration -- and rereleased in 2011.
Nassau officials have transferred him to the New York City jail system, a move the county sheriff explained is "common practice."
With Nathaniel Herz
and Chau Lam