Ronell Wilson, 31, was formally sentenced to death Tuesday for the 2003 murder of two New York City police detectives on Staten Island. NY1's Dean Meminger filed the following report.
Ronell Wilson stood up in federal court and turned to the family of slain New York City police detectives Rodney Andrews and James Nemorin, asking for forgiveness. He said he was sorry for the pain he caused them.
"To err is human, to forgive is divine. May God bless you and your family," he said.
That meant nothing for Rodney Andrews Sr., the father of Detective Andrews.
"The last time, he stuck his tongue out at us when he got the death sentence," Andrews Sr. said. "So now, 10 years later, 'Oh, I'm sorry.' That 's not making it right."
Wilson's first death sentence was tossed out on a technicality. A second jury reinstated it for his 2003 execution-style murders of the two detectives, who were conducting a gun buy-and-bust operation on Staten Island. Federal judge Nicholas Garaufis called it one of the most grisly cases the city has seen.
Wilson's defense team, though, said that a death sentence is cruel.
"We cause another family, brothers, sisters, parents, aunts and uncles, to suffer," said David Stern, Wilson's attorney.
The detectives' union said that Wilson deserves to die.
"I certainly hope that his execution will be carried out during my tenure," said Michael Palladino of the Detectives Endowment Association.
Garaufis said that Wilson showed no remorse while locked up.
Wilson got prison guard Nancy Gonzalez pregnant while he was at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. The judge was furious that Wilson was allowed to interrogate other prisoners to try to figure out who told that he was having sex with the guard. Garaufis is calling on the Justice department to investigate "...to examine the management, policies, and procedures of the MDC that allowed this behavior to occur, placing at risk of harm other inmates and the many hardworking personnel at the facility."
Before he was led out of the courtroom, Wilson's mother and other family members shouted that they loved him and that his baby will be alright.
Although Ronell Wilson was officially sentenced, the case may not be over. His defense team has 14 days to file an appeal.