Lawyers Say If Case Goes To Trial They May Try Psychiatric Defense For Brendan Cronin

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A New York City police officer accused of attempted murder was in court in White Plains on Thursday morning to fight the charges.

Suspended Officer Brendan Cronin, who prosecutors said opened fire on a car and critically injured a passenger, stood before a judge who told him the attempted murder indictment will stand and his criminal trial will proceed, CBS 2’s Lou Young reported.

Cronin’s lawyers have already indicated to the court that they may try a psychiatric defense if the case goes to trial, Young reported.

Cronin is accused of firing at least 14 shots at a car stopped at a red light on Lincoln Avenue in Pelham after a day of police tactical training and heavy drinking on April 29, Young reported. Cronin was off-duty.

Robert Borrelli and his friend Joseph Felice were headed home from a hockey game at the time of the incident.

Felice was shot six times and nearly died. He continues to recover from his injuries.

Borrelli attended Thursday’s court proceeding and said he has a hard time looking Cronin in the face.

“I try not to look at him. It doesn’t do me any good to look him in the eye or to see his face or his expressions,” Borrelli said. “I’ll let the trial process work itself out and right now I have to rely on that to be my words and be my defense.”

Pre-trial hearings will begin at the end of the month.

The victims’ lawyer said he and the district attorney are waiting to see how the defense will try to explain the incident.

“I assume that if they intend to use a psychiatric defense they’re going to have to produce a report to indicate that he was under some sort of disability. We’re not aware of what that is at this point,” attorney Randolph McLaughlin said.

Cronin is out on $250,000 bail and did not comment as he left court Wednesday.

If convicted of attempted murder, he could be sentenced to up to 25 years in prison.

The NYPD has suspended Cronin without pay. If convicted, he will be terminated. If acquitted, he could still face departmental trial, Young reported.

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