May 5, 2016 | 8:12pm
By Emily Saul
|Stefan Jeremiah (right)|
|Marcell Dockery was found guilty of starting the fire that killed NYPD veteran Dennis Guerra and injured his partner, Rosa Rodriguez.|
It took a Brooklyn jury less than four hours to convict a fire-obsessed teen for setting an abandoned mattress alight in a fatal moment of boredom, sparking a blaze that would kill an NYPD officer and seriously injure his partner.
Marcell Dockery was found guilty of second-degree murder, first-degree assault, and fourth-degree arson. The 18-year-old faces 25 years to life in prison for setting the blaze, which killed eight-year NYPD veteran Dennis Guerra and gravely injured his partner, Rosa Rodriguez.
Rodriguez held back tears as the jury foreman announced the decision, while Guerra’s widow, Cathy, burst into tears and gasped, “Oh, God,” sinking sideways onto the shoulder of Guerra’s mother, Miriam.
As a stonefaced Dockery was led out of the courtroom by officers, he mouthed “don’t worry” to his family, who sat in a single row in the back of the courtroom, largely obscured by the many cops who packed the courtroom every day of the two-week trial.
Assistant Brooklyn District Attorneys Howard Jackson and Lauren Silver were greeted with thunderous applause by the men and women in blue as they left the courthouse.
Rodriguez, who testified at trial, declined comment. She also was met with applause as she left the courthouse after hugging a number of the officers and comforting Guerra’s teary-eyed widow.
“This doesn’t fix everything, but it does bring justice,” PBA chief Pat Lynch said before a crowd of some hundred officers. “It sends the message that you cannot kill a New York City Police Officer. It also sends a message that there’s people in this city who support NYPD.”
Defense Attorney Jesse Young declined to comment as he exited with Dockery’s family.
Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson declined to comment to reporters but released a statement in which he said Guerra and Rodriguez “showed great courage when they rushed into that building to save the lives of others.”
|A photo of the crime scene presented as evidence in the trial.|
Earlier Thursday, Young bizarrely attempted to convince jurors that the teen, then 16, couldn’t possibly have set the fire because he was “bored” — as he told detectives in his confession — because he lived across from the world-famous Coney Island Boardwalk and its many diversions.
“There’s the beautiful sand, and the Atlantic Ocean,” Young said in closing statements. “He can play basketball, or go to McDonalds. His mother even gives him a credit card. And yet there’s an allegation in this case that Marcell lit the fire because he was bored.”
But Dockery admitted in a videotaped confession he got “bored” while he waited for his cousins to open the door of their apartment on April 6, 2014, and mattress at the end of the 13th floor hallway caught his eye.
He lit the corner, and let it burn for “two or three” seconds, before blowing the flickering flame out and walking back to his cousin’s apartment, before noticing out of the corner of his eye that the entire mattress had become engulfed in flames.
Guerra and Rodriguez responded to the scene, and where both immediately overcome by thick smoke and carbon monoxide. Guerra died three days later, and Rodriguez now lives with only 36 percent lung capacity, and can barely speak.
The teen had a history of setting fires, the jury heard. He was disciplined after constructing a makeshift blowtorch out of a lighter and a can of hairspray at age 13 in the school cafeteria, and crime scene photos of his bedroom showed scorched walls and piles of spent matches.
After copping to the blaze on tape, Dockery unsuccessfully attempted to argue during trial he was coerced into confessing by Detectives Brian Ramos and James Nash, who he said threatened his family.
Both Ramos and Nash sat in on the verdict, and Nash was spotted wiping a tear from his cheek as he left court.
Dockery is scheduled for sentencing June 14.