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Long Island

Darrell Fuller sentenced to life in prison without parole for murders of Officer Arthur Lopez, Raymond Facey

Darrell Fuller arrives at court in Mineola Friday,

Darrell Fuller arrives at court in Mineola Friday, Sept. 5, 2014, to be sentenced in the killing of a Nassau County police officer and a Brooklyn man nearly two years ago. He was sentenced to life in prison. Credit: Howard Schnapp

A judge sentenced convicted cop killer Darrell Fuller to life in prison without parole Friday, calling him "despicable" and "a menace to society" for heartlessly gunning down a Nassau County police officer and a motorist from Brooklyn nearly two years ago.

"There is absolutely nothing redeemable about you," acting State Supreme Court Justice Jerald Carter told Fuller in a Mineola courtroom. "You have taken it upon yourself to be God and executioner on the street."

A jury in July found Fuller, 34, of Queens guilty of first-degree murder in the October 2012 slayings of Officer Arthur Lopez, 29, and Raymond Facey, a 58-year-old construction worker and Jamaican immigrant who was the beloved patriarch of his family.

The judge was not the only one with harsh words for Fuller. The slain officer's sister wore her brother's police badge on a chain around her neck in court as she implored Carter to put Fuller behind bars for the rest of his life.

"To Darrell Fuller, I will only say that I will pray to God every day the devil takes his time with you," said Charo Ramos, who remembered her brother as a natural-born leader with a zest for life.

Facey's widow, aunt and two daughters also appealed for the maximum punishment for Fuller -- which Carter then meted out.

"Today I know Daddy can rest. We can all breathe a sigh of relief," Facey's daughter, Abbigail Jones, 23, told the judge. "The man responsible for wreaking havoc and creating chaos will be put away for life. The hour of reckoning has come for you, Darrell Fuller."

Prosecutor Mitchell Benson, chief of the Nassau district attorney's Major Offense Bureau, said the victims were two men who represented "the best of society," while Fuller was "the worst of the worst."

The judge chastised Fuller, asking him if he would have pulled the trigger if he knew Lopez had once saved a man on the Long Island Rail Road from committing suicide, or if he knew Facey had come to the United States for a better life from the same country where Fuller's father was born.

He called the defendant despicable for hiding out in a preschool where there were "kids in Pampers" while trying to evade the police after the murders with "a 9-millimeter that had two bodies on it in your sleeve."

The jury's verdict had come after less than five hours of deliberations following a trial that had lasted almost two months and included testimony from 78 witnesses. Friday, more than half of the jury's members returned for the sentencing, with one even donning the same shirt in Lopez's memory that some of the dozens of police officers who came to court also wore.

"We made the right decision as a team and now we're here to see it through," said jury forewoman Antoinette Neil of Valley Stream.

Lopez, of Babylon Village, had been a member of the police department's elite Emergency Service Unit. He had been on the police force for eight years and also had served as a volunteer firefighter.

Prosecutors said during the trial that Fuller shot Lopez to death after Lopez and his partner, Officer Clarence Hudson, pursued Fuller's car on the Cross Island Parkway after he fled a car accident he got into after leaving the hospital where he'd had a dialysis treatment.

Fuller -- then paroled after an attempted murder conviction -- fired a bullet into Lopez's heart after the officer approached his car with a Taser during a traffic stop at 241st Street and Jamaica Avenue near the Nassau-Queens border.

Fuller fled a short way south on the parkway in his disabled car before he shot Facey twice in the head. The parolee then ditched his car and fled in the one that had been driven by Facey, who'd pulled over to speak to his daughter on his cellphone about booking a family trip back to Jamaica.

"Being on the phone with him, I could never imagine that those would be the last moments I would hear his voice," Facey's daughter, Dahlia Kong, 23, said in court Friday.

Some of the evidence against Fuller included video of him inside that Queens preschool, along with testimony from six eyewitnesses who picked him out of a lineup. Police also found Facey's DNA on clothing they recovered from Fuller at a hospital, where he went for gunshot wound treatment after, they said, he orchestrated his own shooting to try to look like a third victim in the case.

Tests showed the same gun was used in all three shootings, and police recovered the murder weapon in a car linked to one of Fuller's friends. Phone records and video of parts of the police pursuit of Fuller's car after the hit-and-run also were among the evidence.

"No thank you," Fuller said, when asked if he wanted to speak at his sentencing.

He nodded at family in the court gallery before court officials led him away in handcuffs to begin serving a sentence Carter told him meant he wouldn't see the light of day, "henceforth and forever."

After the sentencing was finished, Lopez's sister said she felt a sense of relief.

"I'm just glad it's over," said Ramos, before leaving the courthouse with her parents and police officers that included her brother's partner, Hudson.

"The people of the state of New York have spoken," Hudson said.

Outside, Facey's widow, June Facey, asked for prayers so that she could stay strong as a member of a family that had been "forever broken."

Of Fuller she said: "He got what he deserved."

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