Farmingville man guilty of attempted murder of state investigator

Nicholas Hansen, 23, faces a sentence of 5

Nicholas Hansen, 23, faces a sentence of 5 to 20 years in prison in the attempted shooting of Senior Investigator Kevin Ring. (Credit: Suffolk County Sheriff)

A Farmingville man broke down in tears Friday after a jury found him guilty of trying to shoot an undercover state investigator during a drug bust more than two years ago.

Nicholas Hansen, 23, began to weep after the presiding juror in State Supreme Court in Central Islip said the defendant was "guilty" of the first charge -- attempted murder.

Hansen, who stood to face the jury of 10 women and two men, sobbed uncontrollably on the shoulder of his attorney, William Keahon of Hauppauge, as he was found guilty of each of the remaining 16 counts, including drug and weapon charges.


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State Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho made a downward motion with his hand, and Keahon guided Hansen into his chair.

Assistant District Attorney Beth Creighton said afterward that the most serious drug trafficking charge carried a penalty of up to 25 years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 14.

Creighton said the judge has the discretion to make some of the sentences consecutive, lengthening Hansen's time in prison.

Senior State Police Investigator Kevin Ring was part of a task force that was planning to arrest Hansen as soon as a cocaine deal with an undercover officer was completed in a gas station near Exit 61 on the Long Island Expressway in Holbrook on Aug. 11, 2011.

But when the officers arrived, Hansen stepped out of his car with a pistol drawn and Ring fired his service weapon, hitting Hansen four times.

No other officer fired, and Hansen dropped to the ground and fired several shots that hit nobody.

In their closing arguments earlier this week, Keahon and Creighton tried to help jurors conclude what Hansen must have been thinking when Ring emerged from an unmarked minivan with no police identification and pointed his gun at him.

Keahon said Hansen was concerned that he was about to be robbed and had no inkling Ring was a police officer.

In recorded drug deals leading up to the day of the shooting, Creighton said, Hansen never expressed concern about being robbed. But he did say several times that he was worried that the person who was buying his cocaine could be an undercover officer.

With the jury out of the room at one point, the judge summarized the issue for the lawyers: "The issue is as simple as this: If he did not believe they were police officers and his belief was reasonable, he's justified" in shooting.

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