2017-12-27 / Front Page

Judge: Queens Cop Killer Is ‘Gonna Die In Prison’

By Liz Goff
Queens cop killer Demetrius Blackwell got one of those Christmas gifts that keep on giving last week – life in prison without the possibility of parole for the May 2015 murder of Detective Brian Moore.

It took a Queens jury only five hours in November to find Blackwell, 37, guilty of first-degree murder.

Blackwell’s attorney, David Bart, pleaded with Queens Supreme Court Justice Gregory Lasak for leniency for his client, saying Blackwell has a “compromised brain.”

“Mr. Blackwell, you’re nothing but a coward,” Lasak said at the sentencing on December 19. “You’re a cold, calculated killer.”

Lasak then handed down the life sentence to Blackwell, who maintained an icy demeanor throughout the proceedings. You realize what you did. You killed a man for no reason.

“Let me make this clear for your compromised brain,” Lasak said. “It means you’re gonna die in prison. You will never again breathe air beyond the steel and concrete of a New York State prison.”

Blackwell tilted his head toward Lasak and showed no emotion other than a slight smirk across his face.

“Get his smirking face out of my courtroom and out of this courthouse,” Lasak said, just before Blackwell disappeared through a side door.

Dozens of police officers, most from the 105th Precinct, filled the courtroom for the sentencing. Dozens more officers filled a hallway outside the courtroom. “We’re here to support Brian’s family,” a patrol cop said. “We couldn’t get inside, but we want to be here to honor Brian’s life and to applaud the words that will, hopefully, bury his killer in some pit of a prison for the rest of his life.”

The jury also convicted Blackwell of attempted murder for firing his weapon at Jansen. He was sentenced to a second life sentence for that crime.

“The sentence imposed today on Demetrius Blackwell for the deliberate murder of New York City Police Officer Brian Moore and the attempted murder of Officer Erik Jansen…is more than appropriate,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.

“It goes without question that the defendant’s actions were a direct attack on our society and the law, and soberly reminds us of the unseen dangers that our police officers face each day – and the ultimate sacrifice they may be called upon to make – as they carry out their sworn duty to protect and serve our communities,” Brown said.

“Justly, the person responsible for causing so much pain and suffering must be punished for his criminal actions for the greater good and protection of society,” Brown said. “Today, I am confident that the ends of justice have been served.”

During the three-week trial, Jansen testified that he and Moore were riding in an unmarked police cruiser on May 2, 2015 when they spotted Blackwell crossing a street in Queens Village, appearing to conceal something in his waistband.

Jansen said he and Moore slowly followed Blackwell for a few moments before they pulled up to question him at 104th Road and 212th Place.

Moore called out to Blackwell, asking if he was concealing a gun, Jansen testified. Blackwell said, “Yeah, I got something, and turned right toward the car and shot Brian,” Jansen testified. Blackwell then fired two rounds at Jansen as he leaned over his fatally wounded partner, prosecutors said.

Blackwell ran from the scene, ditched the gun and changed his clothes in a nearby backyard, prosecutors said. Police tracked down Blackwell and arrested him a short while later. Detectives linked Blackwell to the murder by DNA on unspent rounds in the murder weapon.

Moore, 25, died two days later at Jamaica Hospital Center. The young cop had amassed 150 arrests and received numerous awards for his service in an elite anti crime unit out of the 105th Precinct, where he patrolled in plainclothes, keeping an eye on known ex-convicts and suspicious, criminal activity. Then-police commissioner Bill Bratton posthumously promoted Moore to the rank of Detective.

Moore’s mother, Irene Moore, spoke to the court prior to the sentencing remembering how she fell to her knees when she got the call that her only son had been shot in the head.

Irene Moore said her life was “forever changed, forever turned upside down” by her son’s death. “My bond, my son was abruptly severed from me,” she said in her sentencing impact statement. “This is my life sentence without the chance of parole,” she said. “For me, there is no moving on.”

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