A Queens man has been found guilty of intentionally murdering Nassau County Police Officer Arthur Lopez and Brooklyn motorist Raymond Facey at two separate locations along the Nassau-Queens border in Oct. 2012, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said on Monday.
Darrell Fuller, 34, of St. Albans, was found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, two counts of first-degree robbery, and two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
The trial lasted eight weeks before Nassau County Court Judge Jerald Carter. The prosecution called 78 witnesses during the course of the trial. The jury deliberated for five hours over the course of two days.
On Oct. 23, 2012 at 11 a.m., Lopez, 29, an eight-year veteran of the force, and his partner observed a car driven by Fuller leave the scene of an accident on Northern Boulevard near the Cross Island Parkway, in Queens.
After Lopez and his partner followed Fuller’s car southbound on the Cross Island Parkway along Belmont Park, Fuller exited the parkway and came to a stop on 241st Street near Jamaica Avenue. Lopez then approached Fuller, who was standing outside his vehicle, who shot Lopez at close range in the chest. Lopez was transported to North Shore Long Island Jewish Hospital, where he died.
Fuller then got back into his vehicle and returned to the parkway, where he came upon a vehicle parked on the shoulder of the roadway with Facey, 51, alone inside. Fuller shot Facey twice in the face and head through the driver’s side window, and then fled in Facey’s vehicle before abandoning it in a Queens neighborhood. Facey was later pronounced dead at the scene. Fuller was apprehended later that night on 111th Avenue near 173rd Street in Queens, where he was found by police with two non-life threatening gunshot wounds.
“Today, a jury of Darrell Fuller’s peers found him guilty of the intentional killing of a police officer and an innocent motorist,” Rice said. “By his actions, Fuller demonstrated that he had no respect for the law or for human life. I want to thank the men and women of the jury for their hard work. My thoughts and prayers are with the families, friends, and colleagues of Officer Lopez and Mr. Facey. May their loved ones find some peace and closure from today’s verdict.”
“One can only wonder how a violent felony offender like this, a parolee, could have been on our streets as his rap sheet includes a conviction for attempted murder in 2004 and an arrest for selling crack cocaine on the streets of Nassau County in 2010,” County Executive Ed Mangano said in a statement. “The laws of New York State must change if we are to keep our residents and police officers, like Arthur Lopez, safe.
“I urge State officials to immediately end parole for violent offenders who break their parole, call upon the State Parole Board to enforce the longest maximum sentence under the law for violent offenders after the first conviction, and reinstate the death sentence for those that kill police officers. I thank the members of the jury for delivering justice today and extend my deepest sympathies to the Lopez and Facey families as they relive this terrible tragedy.”
Fuller faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. He is due back in court on Sept. 5.