Justin Murrell appears in an adjournment hearing in Brooklyn Supreme Court Thursday, Jan. 17, 2017 in Brooklyn, New York. Burrell is charged with attempted murder for dragging NYPD officer Dalsh Veve during a traffic stop in June 2016. (Barry Williams for New York Daily News)
The teenage driver of a stolen car that dragged an NYPD officer in Brooklyn meant no harm, his lawyer told a jury Wednesday.
In opening statements in Brooklyn Supreme Court at the attempted murder trial of Justin Murrell, 17, defense lawyer, Natalie Peeples portrayed the June 3, 2017, dragging of Detective Dalsh Veve as a case of a wayward teen allowing things to get out of control.
"None of this did he intend," Peeples said.
But prosecutors argued Murrell knew exactly what he was doing — and left then-Officer Veve brain-damaged, dependent on 24-hour care and unable to remember his wife or daughter.
"He chose not to stop, he chose not to comply," Assistant District Attorney Melissa Carvajal told jurors. “(Murrell) intentionally tried to kill him (Veve) so that his freedom wouldn't be lost."
Veve had stopped the stolen Honda Civic in East Flatbush, and as he was questioning its occupants, Murrell sped off, dragging him more than two blocks down Tilden Ave. to E. 53rd St., throwing Veve to the ground.
NYPD Detective Dalsh Veve receives the Chief Patrick D. Brennan Award at the 67th Precinct in Brooklyn, New York, Wednesday, October 24, 2018. (Jesse Ward / for New York Daily News)
"What we've heard today was the defense ask these jurors to defy all logic and check common sense at the door," Patrolmen’ Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch said outside court. "They say, ‘Don't look at the crime and don't think about the police officer who is struggling for his life each and every day. Just look over at that baby-face bandit...”