March 14, 2003

Sources: Co-Conspirator Is Rolling Over On Alleged Cop Killer

By Sean Gardiner, Melanie Lefkowitz, Leonard Levitt and Bryan Virasami Staff Writers

  Rodney Andrews and James Nemorin were both killed.

Paris Bullock was led out of the 120th Precinct on Staten Island this afternoon, apparantly heading to his arraignment on second degree murder charges in connection with the deaths of two detectives on Monday.

Wearing a white sweatshirt, gray sweatpants, a red, white and black knit cap, Bullock, 21, remained silent and stone-faced as police escorted him out of the precinct.

Suspected triggerman Ronell Wilson was arraigned yesterday, and four others in custody reportedly are still being questioned at the stationshouse.

Only Ronell Wilson was paraded down the steps of the 120th Precinct yesterday, flanked by officers and crowded by reporters shouting, "Why did you do it?"

Only Wilson stood silent before a judge in a courtroom filled to bursting with stern-faced, arm-crossed cops, his father watching sadly from the third row.

That's because at least one of Wilson's co-defendants is working with prosecutors on the case against him, sources said.

Omar Green, 19, the alleged plotter of the botched gun deal that left two undercover detectives dead on Monday night, is making a deal seeking a lesser sentence in exchange for testimony against Wilson, sources said.

The evidence against Wilson mounted yesterday as detectives said they think they found the murder weapon, an Interarms 720 .44-cal. handgun, stashed in a common hallway closet in a Thompkinsville building where Wilson's relatives live. The building , at 76 Van Duzer St., is around the corner from where the bodies of officers Rodney Andrews and James Nemorin were found.

Police do not believe Wilson's relatives knew the gun was there, sources said.

Wilson, shorn yesterday of his Coolio-style braids and wearing a loose white sweat suit, was ordered held without bail on two counts of first-degree murder. He did not speak during the 3 p.m. arraignment, which was over in minutes.

At the request of both Assistant District Attorney Paul Capofari and Wilson's defense attorney, Kelley Sharkey, Judge Alan Meyer ordered Wilson placed in protective custody.

Sharkey declined to comment after the hearing.

Attorneys for Bullock, Green, Jessie Jacobus, 17, Mitchell Diaz, 16, had waived their right to arraignment yesterday, said Chief Assistant District Attorney David Lehr.

The four face second-degree murder charges.

Police have said Nemorin, 36, and Andrews, 34, were driving a rented Nissan Maxima when they picked up Wilson and Jacobus, planning to buy a Tec-9 submachine gun from them for $1,200. They headed to Diaz's apartment, where Wilson was supposed to pick up the Tec-9, but left instead with the .44-cal. gun.

At St. Pauls Avenue and Hannah Street, Jacobus told prosecutors, Wilson shot Nemorin, who was in the passenger's seat, in the cheek, sources said. He then put the gun to the back of Andrews' head and made a demand that Jacobus said he couldn't understand.

Before the officer could react, Wilson pulled the trigger, the sources said.

Nemorin and Andrews each had seven years' experience as a police officer and had joined the elite firearms unit in November. They leave behind a total of five children.

"When you take the life of any human being, it's a tragedy," Lehr said. "When you take the life of somebody who's here to protect us and serve us, it's even more of a tragedy."

In the detectives' honor, hundreds of police officers streamed into the small courtroom where Wilson was arraigned. The officers, all in plainclothes with their badges hung around their necks, lined the aisles and stood six deep in the back of the silent room as they waited for Wilson to enter.

One detective, who did not want his name used, came with a large contingent from a Brooklyn station house where Nemorin once worked "to show your support for him and his family, to see that justice is served," he said.

Asked about Wilson, he shook his head in disgust.

"He didn't seem fazed by it in the slightest," the detective said.

Patrick Lynch, head of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, also came to the arraignment.

"Whenever a cop is shot, this is what you're going to get," he said. "You attack one of us, you attack all of us."

The courtroom was too full to accommodate the dozens of friends and relatives who showed up to support and defend Wilson. At one point, while at least 30 of his supporters waited in line outside the court house, a relative received a call from Wilson on her cell phone. She held it up to the crowd and many yelled, "We love you!"

"He's a nice kid," said a woman who identified herself as his aunt but wouldn't give her name. "I can't see him doing something like that. It's not true."

Wilson's father, who said his name was Robert Earl, had little to say to reporters.

"My son is in some real ------ here," he said.

Others had less sympathy.

"Why would you take another human life? Why do that?" Sgt. Richie Abbate, Nemorin and Andrews' supervisor at the Firearms Investigation Unit, said after the arraignment. "He had no regard for human life. What kind of human beings do something like that? That's the most mortal sin you can commit."