Jailhouse informer testifies against cop killer
A jailhouse informant testified at Ronell Wilson's death penalty retrial Wednesday that the convicted double-cop killer seemed to be bragging about his crime during a discussion in a life-skills class with other inmates last year.
"He said we all know why I'm here," said Kevin Johansen, who was being held on meth trafficking charges in a federal jail unit with Wilson. "He smiled while he said it. It was strange, like he was gloating about it."
Johansen's testimony highlighted a day of multiple developments in federal court in Brooklyn, as former prison guard Nancy Gonzalez of Huntington Station pleaded guilty to conceiving a child with Wilson in jail last year, while a widow and daughter of the two slain NYPD cops made emotional appearances.
MaryAnn Andrews sobbed describing how the killing of Det. Rodney Andrews "ruined" her family, leaving her and one son still in therapy 10 years later. Sarah Nemorin, who was a toddler when Det. James Nemorin of Baldwin Harbor was killed, riveted jurors with a school essay about the father she never knew.
"I hope one day, I can be as brave as him by helping to make a difference in life," wrote Sarah, now 12 and living in Bellmore. "I will always love and admire him because he is my dad and my hero."
Wilson, 31, was convicted in 2006 of executing Nemorin and Andrews, of Middle Village, Queens, during an undercover gun buy in 2003. But an appeals court overturned his death sentence and ordered a new trial on the penalty. He will get life in prison if jurors don't unanimously agree on death.
Gonzalez, 29, had Wilson's baby, Justus, in March. She faces 10 to 16 months in prison under federal sentencing guidelines after admitting to having sex with Wilson last summer while supervising him as a guard in a "special needs" unit of the federal Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.
After pleading at a brief hearing before a magistrate, Gonzalez said she was "relieved" and hoped she won't get jail time. Her attorney, Anthony Ricco, said she has been subpoenaed by both sides in the Wilson death trial to testify about both his misbehavior and his fatherhood.
Ricco said Gonzalez regretted the affair, but still felt "love" for Wilson and hopes he isn't executed. "Love is an emotion, not always tied to factors we can point to," he said.
Johansen, testifying earlier at Wilson's trial, said he first tipped off authorities to the Gonzalez affair after observing the two "socializing" for hours and then later seeing Wilson exposed as Gonzalez left his cell.
He said the sex incident was part of a pattern in which Wilson had free rein in their 30-inmate unit -- serving as the "head orderly," dominating use of the TV, computer and phone on the floor, and intimidating others with homophobic remarks.
Prosecutors claim Wilson, a Bloods gang leader, would be a danger if imprisoned for life.
"I didn't want to be in conflict with him," Johansen testified.