NEW YORK — A federal judge has ruled that a man on death row for killing two undercover New York Police Department officers can’t be executed because he is intellectually disabled.
On Tuesday, Judge Nicholas Garaufis vacated an order that sentenced Ronell Wilson to death.
Wilson, 31, had earlier been sentenced to death in 2007 in the March 10, 2003 execution-style murders of Detectives Rodney Andrews and James Nemorin. But the sentence was overturned because of mistakes made by the prosecution. A new trial was arranged, and the second jury decided Wilson’s fate in just under four hours – the death penalty.
Garaufis, however, found that Wilson can’t be executed because he meets the legal standard to be considered intellectually disabled.
Wilson was charged in the 2003 point-blank shootings of undercover officers James Nemorin and Rodney Andrews in a gun sting gone awry. The officers were shot in the backs of their heads.
The detectives were working an undercover “buy and bust” gun operation when Wilson gunned them down in a crime that horrified the city. Wilson argued he did not know the victims were cops at the time of the shootings.
While in prison, Wilson impregnated a former guard , Nancy Gonzalez, who has since had his child.
The Associated Press contributed to this report