Attorneys for convicted cop-killer Ronell Wilson made an 11th hour pitch to have the death penalty against their client reduced last week — by claiming that the man who executed two police officers during a buy-and-bust operation in 2003 may not be smart enough to receive a lethal injection.
During an appearance in Brooklyn Federal Court on Sept. 1, defense attorney David Stern said there was “a good chance” that Wilson’s IQ is so low that he may be legally ineligible to be sentenced to death.
Stern said that Wilson was “mentally incompetent,” but wouldn’t say just what his client’s IQ is.
“There was no investigating [of his mental capacity] done during the first trial,” said Stern, who cited a 2002 Supreme Court case that stopped the execution of Daryl Atkins, a mentally handicapped Virginia man convicted of kidnapping and killing a US Airman for beer money in 1996. Atkins was retried and sentenced to death after a second jury determined that he wasn’t retarded and understood the severity of his crime. He was ultimately given life without parole after his attorney proved prosecutorial misconduct.
Wilson was convicted of killing undercover Detectives James Nemorin, an East Flatbush resident, and Rodney Andrews in 2006.
The detectives, members of the NYPD’s Organized Crime and Control Bureau, were planning to buy a Tech-9 from Wilson’s Staten Island crew when the suspect and Jesse Jacobus jumped into their car, claiming that they had to do the buy somewhere else.
The two detectives were found a short time later lying in the street. Each had been shot in the back of the head.
Investigators claim that Wilson killed the two detectives after robbing them of the $1,200 they had for the buy, but fled without taking the money.
Cops quickly identified Wilson as the shooter. He was ultimately captured in Red Hook, while leaving his girlfriend’s apartment.
Despite Stern’s claim, Judge Nicholas Garaufis said he wouldn’t delay the sentencing phase of Wilson’s trial “one minute more than I have to.”
“The people who know him are in town or are in jail and can be found,” he told Stern, giving him a short period of time to prove his case.
The parents of 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky lashed out against the child’s alleged killer on Aug. 29 — filing $100 million lawsuits against both suspect Levi Aron and Aron’s father, who paid the rent on the apartment where Leiby was killed.
In wrongful death lawsuits filed on Aug. 17 and Aug. 23, Nachman Kletzky, Leiby’s father, claimed to be seeking compensatory and punitive damages for the “abduction, kidnapping, torture, murder and dismemberment” of his son, who Aron allegedly grabbed off a Borough Park street on July 11.
Prosecutors claim that Aron, 35, lured Kletzky into his car after the child got lost walking home from day camp.
Aron reportedly took Kletzky to a wedding upstate, then forced him to stay the night at the plumbing supply store clerk’s home.
The next day, Aron drugged and smothered the child and cut up his body to hide the evidence, police charge.
Defense attorneys claim that Aron suffers from schizoid tendencies and a host of other mental disorders.
“We are now evaluating whether his psychological condition meets the threshold for a mental disease or defect defense,” Pierre Bazile told reporters.
The wrongful death suits won’t be heard in court until after Aron’s criminal trial, which is still months away.
Aron’s next court date is set for Oct. 14.