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Demetrius Blackwell pleads not guilty in shooting of Officer Brian Moore, may pursue insanity defense

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N.J. Burkett reports from Kew Gardens, where Demetrius Blackwell was arraigned Thursday in the fatal shooting of NYPD Officer Brian Moore. (WABC)

The man accused of gunning down an NYPD officer was indicted on 12 criminal counts, including aggravated murder, in Queens Thursday.

Demetrius Blackwell, 35, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment inside a courtroom packed with more than 200 officers in death of police officer Brian Moore, and his attorney indicated that he may pursue an insanity defense.

Earlier, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown announced the results of the grand jury probe, saying "The defendant's alleged actions are a direct attack on society and the law and reminds us of the dangers that our police officers face each day."

Blackwell's attorney agreed to turn over all medical records to prosecution team. Blackwell himself said one word throughout the entire proceeding, "yes," when asked whether he was Demetrius Blackwell.

He continues to be held without bail.

The indictment charges him with one count each of aggravated murder, second- and first-degree murder, attempted aggravated murder, second- and first-degree attempted murder, second- and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of marijuana, petit larceny and fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property.

Moore, 25, died on May 4 at a Queens hospital, two days after being shot in the head. Police said Moore and his partner, Officer Erik Jansen, 30, exchanged words with Blackwell near 212th Street in Queens Village before he turned suddenly and opened fire.

Authorities said Blackwell fired three times, hitting Moore in the face.

According to the charges, between the shooting and his arrest, Blackwell stole a T-shirt and sneakers to disguise himself. When he was arrested he had small amounts of cocaine and marijuana.

Blackwell has an extensive criminal record, including serving five years in prison on an attempted murder conviction.

The first-degree murder charge carries a penalty of life in prison without the possibility of parole. Blackwell has been in jail since his arrest May 3.

Moore, who followed in the footsteps of his father, his uncle and his cousins, joined the department right out of high school in Massapequa five years ago.


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