NYPD officers arrive at Queens Criminal Court Friday for the Demetrius Blackwell's trial in the murder of NYPD Detective Brian Moore. (DAVID WEXLER/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)
Demetrius Blackwell, 37, wore a white button-down shirt, black pants and handcuffs as Assistant District Attorney Daniel Saunders identified him as the cold-blooded killer of NYPD Officer Brian Moore.The trial of an accused Queens cop killer opened Friday with a litany of damning evidence: Three eyewitnesses, DNA on the murder weapon, a ballistics match.
Saunders recounted how Moore, 25, and his partner stopped ex-con Blackwell on suspicion of carrying a gun, with the routine encounter turning deadly in mere seconds on May 2, 2015.
“Officer Moore began to open the (car) door and said the last words he would ever say: ‘Police. You got something?’” the prosecutor said.
Blackwell responded, “Yeah, I got something,” before pulling the silver handgun and pumping two bullets into Moore’s head. The plainclothes cop, the son of a retired NYPD sergeant, died two days later.
When Blackwell was arrested 90 minutes after the 6:15 p.m. shooting, “he began to cry” in the back of the police car, said Saunders.
Demetrius Blackwell, 37, sat quietly at the defense table at the start of his trial. (ELIS KAPLAN/AP)
Three Queens Village residents identified Blackwell as the gunman, while ballistics evidence and his own DNA linked him to the murder weapon.
The slain officer’s father Raymond and his mother Irene listened as the courtroom echoed with the details of their son’s execution. His mom wore a small replica Brian’s badge on a necklace.
Defense attorney David Bart acknowledged the killing of the officer before telling the jurors, “That’s one of the few things I will concede to you.”
The lawyer questioned the validity of the DNA evidence linking his client to the murder weapon and questioned the reliability of the witnesses.
“This is a complex and difficult case with a lot of emotion overshadowing it,” said Bart in his opening statement.
“But you cannot and should not hold Mr. Blackwell accountable because you will find the evidence does not support it.”
View Daily News gallery of mourners at P.O. Moore's funeral on Long Island.
Bart also suggested brain surgery two years before the shooting negatively affected his epileptic client’s day to day equilibrium.
Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association head Patrick Lynch, speaking after the opening statements, ripped the defendant and the defense lawyer.
“This is a cold-hearted killer that thought he was a tough guy in the streets ... and now hides like a coward behind his attorney,” said Lynch.
“This is a terrible case where a clearly bad decision by a judge resulted in the shooting of Yonkers Police Officer Kayla Maher,” Lynch said in a statement.
“Valencia will be held accountable for the shooting of Police Officer Maher, and Judge Villegas must be held responsible for his extraordinarily poor judgment that put this obviously dangerous man back on the streets.”
Villegas has been hearing criminal cases since 2004, when he was appointed an acting justice in Bronx Supreme Court. He was elected to a 14-year term as a full Bronx Supreme Court justice in 2008.
The judge declined to comment on Valencia’s sentence Tuesday. A spokesman for the state Office of Court Administration also declined to comment, stating that the case was sealed.
On Monday night, Maher and her partner had responded to a routine call to check on a car that seemed out of place in the residential neighborhood.