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Man Accused of Shooting NYPD Officer Can't Remember Due to Seizure: Lawyer

By Katie Honan | May 17, 2017 8:11am
 Demetrius Blackwell, center, standing with his lawyer, David Bart. He plead not guilty to 12 counts regarding the shooting death of Police Officer Brian Moore.
Demetrius Blackwell, center, standing with his lawyer, David Bart. He plead not guilty to 12 counts regarding the shooting death of Police Officer Brian Moore.
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Pool/Ellis Kaplan/New York Post

QUEENS VILLAGE — The ex-con accused of gunning down police officer Brian Moore in 2015 has no memory of the shooting — because he had an epileptic seizure the night before that wiped his brain, his lawyer said Tuesday.

Demetrius Blackwell, whose lawyer is pursuing an insanity plea, has no memory of the evening of May 2, when police say he shot at undercover officers in Queens Village, killing Moore.

Blackwell underwent two separate psychiatric evaluations — after initially fighting the second — and each offered different conclusions on his mental state, lawyers said in court.

One evaluation said he had an epileptic seizure the night before the shooting, causing a “postictal psychosis” that caused changes in his behavior. It also caused a lapse in his memory, a doctor found.

Yet prosecutors said Blackwell has no proof of the seizure, and added that witness statements from friends discredit the claim.

Assistant District Attorney Robert Masters asked Judge Joseph Zayas in a pre-trial conference on Tuesday to admit Blackwell's prior arrests be used in trial — balking against the defense’s insanity claims by saying he's led a years-long life of violence. 

Masters said Blackwell's past shows a recklessness and propensity toward violence — and an anti-social disorder, the most notable symptom of which is the “pervasive disregard for the well-being of others.”

He's lied under oath about his illness and run-ins with the police, Masters added.

In November 2014, Blackwell was arrested for assault, criminal possession of a weapon and menacing after fighting with a man who Masters intends to call up to the witness stand, the ADA said.

Blackwell broke car windows with cinder blocks, Masters said.

After a witness threatened to call the police, Blackwell allegedly told him, “if they come I’ll pop them, too,” Masters said.

Blackwell was known to be armed at all times — and his favorite gun was the silver revolver with a black handle that was later used to fire at two police officers, fatally hitting Moore, Masters said.

On the evening of May 2, as he encountered the undercover officers near 212th Road, he had the choice to surrender, flee or fight it out, Masters said.

“He fought it out,” Masters said, the continuation of a life of deliberate violence. “It’s reflexive of his intent.”

Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said after the hearing, which was filled with dozens of NYPD officers, all of the evidence "goes to his character."

"He can't be truthful," he said.

The court case will resume June 27, Zayas said.