Convicted cop killer Demetrius Blackwell is a “coward” who should die in prison, a judge said Tuesday in imposing a sentence of life without parole for the 2015 slaying of Brian Moore, an NYPD officer from Long Island.
Judge Gregory Lasak could not contain his scorn for Blackwell, 37, calling him a “cold, calculating killer” as he handed down the stiffest penalty allowed by state law in Queens County Criminal Court.
“Mr. Blackwell, you are nothing but a coward,” Lasak said.
Defense attorney David Bart of Flushing asked the judge to show leniency, arguing that Blackwell was not completely responsible for his actions because of underlying emotional and psychological problems.
Lasak didn’t buy it.
“To make it simple for your compromised brain, you are going to die in prison,” he told Blackwell. “You will never breathe fresh air outside the confines of a New York State prison.”
Blackwell entered the courtroom with his chin up, looking defiant, but otherwise showed no emotion as Lasak tore into him. The judge later told court officers to take Blackwell and “his smirky face” out of his courtroom.
Moore, of Plainedge, was 25 when he was fatally shot in the head while sitting in an unmarked patrol car. He was a member of an elite anti-crime unit.
According to prosecutors, Moore and his partner Erik Jansen suspected Blackwell was carrying a gun because of the way he moved when they spotted him on a Queens Village street on May 2, 2015.
Moore identified himself as an officer and asked Blackwell if he had something in his waistband. Blackwell then opened fire, fatally injuring Moore, prosecutors said. Moore died two days later in Jamaica Hospital Medical Center.
A jury of seven women and five men found Blackwell guilty of first-degree murder, attempted murder and criminal possession of a weapon on Nov. 9.
Irene Moore told Lasak the loss of her only son has filled her with unrelenting grief. “My soul was abruptly severed from me,” the mother said. “For me, there is no moving on.”
Scores of NYPD officers — most of them in uniform — squeezed into the courtroom for the sentencing.
Calvin Hunt, 56, a chef from Harlem, installed a makeshift memorial to Moore on a bench outside the courtroom. Hunt said he brought his 10-year-old son Cameron to teach the boy to respect police.
“We need the NYPD,” Hunt said. “They protect the city. They deserve a raise, too.”
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown applauded the sentence, which he hoped “will bring some degree of closure and comfort and comfort to those individuals whose lives were forever changed on that horrific day.”
Moore’s father, retired NYPD Sgt. Raymond Moore, said afterward that Blackwell deserves stiffer punishment than life imprisonment.
“If New York State had the death penalty, I’d like to see this animal put down once and for all,” he said.