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Defense lawyer to film Nassau police interrogation room

A defense lawyer will take cameras Wednesday into what has long been one of the most secret chambers of the Nassau Police Department: the homicide interrogation room.

Defense lawyer William Petrillo of Rockville Centre got a judge's order last week giving him permission to enter the windowless room in Mineola.

He hopes to show still footage and video to the jury in the murder trial of his client Herve Jeannot, who Petrillo says confessed - while sitting in that room - to a murder he didn't commit.

"This will allow the jury to better visualize the room where Mr. Jeannot was detained, manipulated and coerced into signing a false statement," Petrillo said.

Prosecutors say Mark Orlando, who was convicted of second-degree murder in the case, paid Jeannot to kill bet-runner Bobby Calabrese, 24, of Long Beach, to get out from under a debt to Calabrese's boss.

The trial, scheduled for Jan. 6, will be Jeannot's fourth on first-degree murder charges. The first two trials ended in hung juries. Jeannot was convicted after the third trial, but that conviction later was overturned.

After Petrillo takes photos and video of the room, a trial judge will decide whether those images can be shown to a jury.

Eric Phillips, spokesman for Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice, said the decision last week by acting state Supreme Court Justice William Donnino to let Petrillo film the room is of little consequence until the trial judge's decision.

Police initially objected to letting Petrillo into the interrogation room, but spokesman Kevin Smith said police will respect Donnino's decision.

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