Double cop-killer Ronell Wilson escaped a jury verdict of death for the second time on Monday when Brooklyn federal prosecutors announced they would not pursue their appeal of a ruling that he can’t be executed because of mental deficiencies.
Wilson, 35, was convicted in 2006 of executing NYPD detectives James Nemorin of Baldwin Harbor and Rodney Andrews of Middle Village by shooting them in their heads and dumping them on the street during a 2003 undercover gun buy on Staten Island.
His first death sentence was overturned by the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals because of an improper prosecution argument. He was again sentenced to death by a jury in 2013, but that was overturned based on a new legal standard for retardation.
At his second trial, testimony indicated he had been the leader of a violent Staten Island gang when he murdered the two detectives, and he later became a kingpin on his prison block. But some IQ tests hovered around 70, the benchmark for intellectual disability.
U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis, who had previously found Wilson mentally able enough to face capital punishment, ruled last year that new Supreme Court standards were “more protective” and overturned the death sentence while saying it was “impossible to muster any sense of sympathy for this defendant.”