- Last Updated: 9:16 AM, December 1, 2012
- Posted: 1:59 AM, December 1, 2012
Now their pain is tripled.
The grieving daughters of slain hero cop Peter Figoski are going to have to endure three separate trials for the men charged with his murder, The Post has learned.
The gunman charged with brutally shooting the detective last December will face trial in January along with the accused getaway driver.
But two other trials will have to be held for the three other suspects who allegedly took part.
The legal reason is that after their arrest, the five men began pointing bloody fingers at one another.
Since they will likely end up testifying against one another — and would implicate themselves, separate trials are required. The separation of the trials was revealed at a pretrial hearing yesterday in Brooklyn Supreme Court.
“The bottom line is that you can’t try them together because one jury can’t hear what one guy is saying about another,” a law-enforcement source said.
The three trials could be agonizing for Figoski’s loved ones, including his four daughters, Christine, Caitlyn, Caroline and Corrine.
Last June, Figoski, who was on the force for 22 years, was posthumously awarded the NYPD’s Medal of Honor.
Figoski’s partner, Detective Glenn Estrada, who chased down and arrested the alleged triggerman, Lamont Pride, was awarded a Medal of Valor.
Investigators said Pride, a 28-year-old career criminal, shot Figoski while trying to escape from a botched robbery attempt in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn.
He faces life in prison if convicted of first-degree murder.
Four other men — Kevin Santos, 31; Ariel Tejada, 23; Nelson Morales, 28; and Michael Velez, 22 — were charged with second-degree murder and face 25 years to life in jail.
Each defendant will have his own jury.
The stories of the five men varied considerably, and each has pleaded not guilty.
Morales blamed everything on Pride, for example. Santos claims he went to the apartment but didn’t take part in the robbery or murder.
It was Santos who identified Pride as the killer.
“He’s the one who pulled the trigger,” Santos said after his arrest.
Initially, Pride told cops he went to the home at 25 Pine St. to buy marijuana. He changed his story later to say he and Morales planned to rob a drug dealer in the home.
He said when he heard cops enter the apartment, his hand remained on the trigger of his gun.
“The gun goes off as I clench my hands to run,” Pride claimed.
Authorities initially said Velez stayed in the getaway car as the four others went in to apartment. They said Tejada and Morales pistol-whipped a tenant and beat him while they ransacked the place.
The opening statements in the trial of Pride and Velez are set for Jan. 24.
Santos, Tejada and Morales are due back in court March 7. Two of them will be tried together and the third will be tried alone. It was unclear which one would face trial alone.