New York Daily News

Updated: November 24, 2015, 11:48 AM

  

 

Tyrone Howard pleads not guilty to murder of NYPD Det. Randolph Holder in front of courtroom packed with family, cops

BY SHAYNA JACOBS

ALEC TABAK FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Tyrone Howard appears at his arraingment in Manhattan Supreme Court today.

MThe creep accused of gunning down NYPD Det. Randolph Holder pleaded not guilty Tuesday to the cold-blooded killing of the respected cop.

Tyrone Howard, 31, kept his head down at the brief hearing in Manhattan Supreme Court, where he was formally presented with an indictment that includes first-degree murder, aggravated murder and other counts.

Howard, a career criminal with a history of drug raps, faces the possibility of life without parole for the cop slaying.

“Not guilty,” he muttered when prompted by the clerk before looking back down towards his lap where his hands were handcuffed together.

Holder’s grieving family and dozens of police officers, including union representatives, packed the courtroom.

An extra court security detail was on hand and Howard, wearing bright orange Department of Correction garb, shuffled in and out of the well with a number of court officer escorts.

Howard was recently sentenced to 12 years behind bars in an unrelated drug case.

About a year prior to the Oct. 20 shooting that killed Holder in East Harlem near the FDR Drive, Howard had been referred to drug court for a diversion program by judge Patricia Nunez.

Nunez said during Howard’s Nov. 12 sentencing for the drug case that he was an “abysmal failure” after he didn’t show up to rehab or court, then allegedly murdered Holder.

Justice Michael Obus said Tuesday that he would require Howard to stay in the city jail system, instead of a prison upstate, so that he could meet with his attorney and be available for proceedings in the murder case.

“This prosecution will not bring back this brave public servant, but we hope, by seeking justice, it will bring a measure of comfort for Detective Holder’s family, his colleagues in the NYPD, and the City as a whole,” DA Cyrus Vance Jr. said in a statement.

Howard’s attorney, Michael Hurwitz, declined to comment on the allegations.

“He will proceed to trial,” Hurwitz said. “The proper forum to consider evidence is in the courtroom.”

Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch said that cops like Holder are defending the city daily against attacks like the terrorist-enacted tragedy in Paris.

“Police officers at this time, when we have terrible attacks in France, when were on guard here in New York City to make sure that doesn’t happen on our shores, the people that are making sure that doesn’t happen … are standing behind me today,” Lynch said in front of a crowd of cops.

“They are men and women just like Police Officer Holder.”

Howard’s case was adjourned to Feb. 1.