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Trial set to begin for man accused of murdering Nassau cop

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An ex-convict – who authorities have called “a cold-blooded murderer” – is expected to go on trial on Long Island Monday afternoon for allegedly fatally shooting a Nassau County police officer during a traffic stop and then allegedly killing a man during a carjacking in an attempt to flee the scene.

Darrell Fuller, 34, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, robbery and weapons charges in connection with the October 2012 incident that left Nassau County Police Officer Arthur Lopez and carjacking victim Raymond Facey dead. If convicted of the top charge, Fuller faces life in prison without parole. Prosecutors have said they would not offer him a plea deal.

The trial was anticipated to begin Monday morning, but was delayed after Fuller’s defense lawyer made a motion to move the proceeding to another jurisdiction. A court official said shortly after noon that the motion had been denied by the state’s Appellate Division. Opening statements are set to begin later in the afternoon.

Police have said Fuller shot Lopez – an 8-year police veteran – after he was pulled over in Bellerose Terrace on suspicion of being involved in a hit-and-run crash in Queens. Authorities have said Fuller fled the shooting and then approached Facey, who was pulled over on the side of the Cross Island Parkway while speaking to his daughter on the phone. They allege Facey was killed in a carjacking and say Fuller fled in the stolen vehicle as police launched a manhunt to locate him. He was found hours later in Jamaica, Queens, suffering from what police said was a “self-inflicted gunshot wound.”

As she wiped tears from her face outside the courtroom Monday morning, Facey’s widow, June Facey, said she didn’t know why, but she didn’t have anger toward her husband’s supposed killer. “There is no justice for my husband or me or the rest of my family. The only justice, she said, was “if [Fuller] had left my husband alone.”

Nassau County Police Benevolent Association President James Carver said Monday that the “manly thing to do” would be for Fuller to plead guilty and serve the rest of his life in prison. He said a guilty plea would “save everybody the heartache that’s going to go on today.” He said there is “a mountain of evidence” to prove Fuller’s guilt and said Fuller’s motion to change the trial’s venue was “another agonizing moment” for Lopez’s family.

Fuller had previously served time in prison after pleading guilty to attempted murder in 2005, officials said. In 2010, he was arrested again for violating his parole with a drug charge and was released in 2011, the Associated Press reported. Fuller, his attorney, and his family have all previously declined to comment on the charges.

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