NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Jurors have taken up the case of the man accused of killing a New York City detective.
Lamont Pride is accused of murder in the December 2011 death of Officer Peter Figoski.
Prosecutors say Pride and four others plotted to rob a drug dealer who lived in a shabby basement apartment in Brooklyn, but they were interrupted by police.
As Pride tried to escape, he came face-to-face with Figoski, who was shot once in the head. He died later at a hospital.
Prosecutors said Figoski, who was undercover, never drew his own weapon.
After Figoski was shot, Pride was chased down and caught by the officer’s partner.
The jury must now weight whether the shooting was accidental, as Pride’s defense claimed, or if the officer was intentionally shot, as prosecutors have charged.
In a tape shown to jurors last week, Pride claimed that he was smoking marijuana in the apartment that was robbed and nervously hid behind a boiler. He said that he was trying to escape when he was confronted by a hooded man with a gun in his hand, who turned out to be Figoski. Pride said that after a struggle, a shot went off.
In one of three videotaped statements made after his capture, Pride told prosecutor Ken Taub, “I just want to help myself out of this situation.”
“I know I’ll do some time, I just don’t want to get the max,” Pride said.
The case against Michael Velez, Pride’s alleged getaway driver, is still being heard by a second jury.
Two other suspects in the case have pleaded not guilty. They have yet to stand trial.
A fifth suspect, Ariel Tejada, testified against the others as part of a plea deal that gave him a lesser sentence.
Pride faces life in prison without parole if convicted.
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