The Chief
March 3, 2006

Sentence Cops' Killer to Life Without Parole

By REUVEN BLAU

The man who fatally shot Detectives Robert L. Parker and Patrick H. Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole Feb. 22.

Marlon Legere was given the maximum sentence by Brooklyn State Supreme Court Justice Anne G. Feldman after a jury found him guilty of first-degree murder of the two veteran Detectives. The sentencing was attended by scores of the officers' family members, friends, and colleagues from the 67th Precinct in East Flatbush.

Mother Sought Help

On Sept. 10, 2004, the officers responded to a call from Mr. Legere's mother, who sought help with her abusive son, who was using her car without permission. Mr. Legere had prior convictions for attempted assault, sexual abuse, and other crimes. Detective Parker, a 22-year veteran of the NYPD from Brooklyn, was familiar with his long rap sheet.

When the Detectives arrived, they found Mr. Legere, 30, sitting in his mother's car. Mr. Legere grabbed Detective Parker's 9-millimeter Glock handgun and fatally shot each officer four times. But before they died, Mr. Parker told a 911 operator where to find a picture of Mr. Legere in his patrol car, and Mr. Rafferty chased him down the street and shot him in the foot.

Mr. Legere's attorney argued that his client didn't know the Detectives, who were dressed in suits, were cops. He also contended that Mr. Legere believed he was being robbed.

But the jury convicted him after less than a day of deliberations.

DEA: Should Be Death

"Absent the death penalty, I'm glad Judge Feldman levied the maximum on Marlon Legere," said Michael Palladino, the president of the Detectives' Endowment Association. The New York State Court of Appeals has ruled that the death penalty as currently structured is unconstitutional.

But Mr. Palladino argued that this case "screamed out" for the death penalty. "He murdered two New York City Detectives," he remarked. "It's not an issue of mistaken identity that could come back to haunt the justice system, because he admits pulling the trigger. And his lame defense of justification was not considered by the jury in their decision and the judge in her sentencing."