Updated 02/15/2013 06:21 PM
NY1 Exclusive: Suspect Connected To Detective's Death Says Gunman Forced Him To Participate
NY1 has obtained an exclusive copy of a videotaped interview that Nelson Moralez, the accused ringleader of the suspects connected to the shooting of Detective Peter Figoski, gave with prosecutors in 2011. NY1's Dean Meminger filed the following report.
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The Brooklyn District Attorney's office says that Nelson Moralez was the mastermind behind the burglary that resulted in the death of Detective Peter Figoski in December 2011.
But in his videotaped interview with prosecutors, obtained by NY1, Moralez said he was forced into it by Lamont Pride, the gunman convicted of shooting and killing Figoski. Morales says Pride pulled a 9-millimeter gun on him at least twice.
"I peeked inside the door, and he pulls out the gun on me again," Moralez said in the video. "The black kid. He pulled out the gun. He put it to my head. He pulled me by my collar inside the house."
Early this week Pride was found guilty of second-degree murder in connection with Figoski's death. Michael Velez, the accused getaway driver, was acquitted of all charges.
Moralez' trial is expected to start by April. He faces murder charges as well because prosecutors say he planned and knowingly participated in the burglary, which ended in the killing of the responding officer.
In his interview with prosecutors, Moralez said that he never heard a shot, but did see the wounded officer at the basement door.
"I walk over by the door, and as I look down towards the steps, I see a cop with blood on his face," Moralez said in the video. "He wasn't moving, he wasn't, nothing. He was just laying there upside down on the steps. You see these steps right here? The same steps I went through? His legs were up, and his head was down. When I see him like that, I stood paused for a minute, because I'd never seen anyone like that in real life."
Moralez's attorney said he understands that this was a tragic event for the city and police department, but he feels jurors will judge the case fairly.
"As to my client, the jury will most importantly have to determine whether or not at the time of the officer's murder, he was involved willingly and intentionally in the act of committing a robbery," Bodden said. "We'll see what the evidence says to that."
"I feel for that officer," Moralez said in the video. "Number one, I've been shot before. Number two, there is no reason for me to lie when I didn't do nothing wrong. I was pressured to do that."
Prosecutors said that Moralez told lie after lie in the interview and jurors will see the real truth when they see all of the facts.