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Ronell Wilson's mother testifies in cop-killer trial

Cheryl Wilson Hadden exits the United States District

Cheryl Wilson Hadden exits the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn. Cheryl Wilson's son, Ronell Wilson, was convicted of murdering two undercover police officers. (July 17, 2013) Credit: Charles Eckert

The mother of convicted double cop-killer Ronell Wilson took the stand Wednesday as a defense witness in federal court in Brooklyn as her son's death penalty retrial defense neared an end.

Cheryl Wilson Hadden, 54, described her own life as a wine-drinking teen mother who became pregnant at 13 and couldn't even remember what schools she attended in brief testimony before the jury left for the day.

Her testimony is expected to continue Thursday. Wilson contends that his rough upbringing in Staten Island mitigates his responsibility for the 2003 murder of two NYPD detectives, and other relatives have testified that his mother was a dysfunctional crack user who neglected him until the city intervened.

Wilson, 31, was convicted in 2006 of killing cops James Nemorin of Baldwin Harbor and Rodney Andrews of Middle Village during an undercover gun buy. He was sentenced to death, but an appeals court ordered a retrial of the penalty because of errors by the prosecutor and judge.

Wilson's case is expected to end on Thursday, after testimony from Wilson Hadden and a few more witnesses.

Lawyers said the defense is not scheduled to call Nancy Gonzalez, the federal prison guard from Long Island who conceived a child with Wilson in jail last year.

Closing arguments and the start of deliberations by an anonymous jury are likely next week, lawyers said.

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