Chief-Leader
March 4, 2013

 

PBA Cheers 45-Year Minimum Sentence For Figoski’s Killer

By MARK TOOR

PATRICK J. LYNCH: Judge provided justice.    
PATRICK J. LYNCH: Judge provided justice.  
   
Peter Figoski  
Peter Figoski  

The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association applauded the unusually stiff 45-year sentence imposed Feb. 28 on Police Officer Peter J. Figoski’s killer.

Two weeks earlier, PBA President Patrick J. Lynch chastised a Brooklyn Supreme Court jury for acquitting Lamont Pride of the most serious charge against him, aggravated murder of a police officer. That charge would have carried a penalty of life in prison without parole.

Lesser Terms Consecutive

The jury did convict Mr. Pride of second-degree murder, which carries a maximum sentence of 25 years to life, meaning he would eventually become eligible for parole. He was also convicted of burglary and manslaughter. Justice Alan Marrus took the rare step of making sentences on all the charges consecutive to set a 45-year minimum term.

“Juries can be easily misled by professional criminals who will say anything to avoid being held responsible for their heinous crimes, as happened in this case,” Mr. Lynch said in a statement. “We are fortunate to have had a judge preside at this trial who recognized the jury’s mistake and applied maximum consecutive sentences to afford Peter Figoski’s family, friends and colleagues a measure of justice. 

“Should this cold-blooded cop-killer survive over four decades in prison and become eligible for parole,” he continued, “I can promise you that a new generation of PBA members will be there to voice our vehement opposition to his release.”

Partner Nabbed Killer

Officer Figoski, 47, who served 22 years in the crime-ridden 75th Precinct, had been called to the scene of a robbery in the early-morning hours of Dec. 12, 2011. He interviewed a bloodied victim in a basement apartment while Mr. Pride and an accomplice hid in a nearby room.

Officer Figoski and Mr. Pride then stumbled across each other at the bottom of a stairwell. Mr. Pride shot the veteran cop in the face, killing him. The officer’s partner, Glenn Estrada, who was outside the building, saw Mr. Pride fleeing, pursued him on foot and tackled him.

Mr. Pride’s lawyer argued that the shooting was an accident and his client never intended to kill the officer. That might have persuaded some members of the jury, according to legal experts, while the second-degree-murder charge involved a killing committed during a felony, which was easier for the jurors to agree on.

Each of Officer Figoski’s four daughters made a pre-sentencing statement. “When our father died, a part of us died, too,” said Corinne Figoski, 15. His mother, Mary Anne, also made a statement, saying, “Peter will always be missed by many people. Lamont Pride will be missed by no one.”

No Sympathy from Killer

One of Mr. Pride’s relatives interjected, “I will miss him.” The defendant apologized to his own family, but had no words of regret for the Figoskis.

Mr. Pride, 28, will be eligible for parole in 45 years, but experts said cop-killers are unlikely to win parole. The last one was released in 2010 for a murder that occurred in 1973. The one before that was released in 1999 for a 1968 killing.