A Brooklyn teenager accused of injuring an NYPD officer from North Baldwin in 2017 by dragging him with a stolen car was acquitted of attempted murder Monday, but a jury convicted the defendant of first-degree assault.
Justin Murrell, now 17, faces a maximum of 10 years in prison when he returns to state Supreme Court in Brooklyn for sentencing Jan. 7 because he was younger than 16 at the time of the incident.
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez’s office said NYPD Det. Dalsh Veve was responding to a report of shots fired in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, in June 2017 when he approached Murrell, who was sitting in the driver’s seat of an idling Honda that had been stolen in Nassau County, prosecutors said. Three other passengers were in the car. Murrell drove off after Veve attempted to speak to him, authorities said.
The officer hung onto the car while Murrell, prosecutors said, drove nearly 60 mph for several blocks. He suffered severe brain trauma after he was thrown from the vehicle and is now completely dependent on 24-hour-a-day care.
To cheers and applause from his fellow cops, Veve left a New Jersey rehabilitation center in May.
Murrell's attorney said during the trial that his client did not intend to hurt the officer. The attorney could not be reached for comment Monday night.
New York City Patrolmen's Benevolent Association president Patrick Lynch urged the maximum sentence.
“This punk knew he had a police officer hanging off the side of the stolen car that he was driving and he intentionally drove wildly in an attempt to kill the officer,” Lynch said. “This jury fell for this baby-faced punk and now it is imperative that judge give him the maximum sentence for the conviction on the assault of a police officer charge.”