A New York City teen accused of starting a fire at a housing project in the city’s Brooklyn borough that killed an officer has rejected a plea deal of 22 years in prison, going against his lawyer's advice to take the deal, the New York Post reports.
Marcell Dockery, now 18, reportedly told authorities that he was "bored" when he allegedly set fire to a mattress in the hallway of his apartment building in April 2014. Officers Dennis Guerra and Rosa Rodriguez, who were responding to the blaze in the Coney Island neighborhood, were quickly overcome by the fire and thick smoke as they stepped out of the elevator. Guerra died days later. Rodriguez was severely injured in the blaze.
Jesse Young, Dockery's defense attorney, reportedly recommended that Dockery take the deal. The lawyer was concerned that if Dockery was convicted at trial, he might never get out if he received a life sentence. Dockery, however, reportedly ignored the attorney and rejected the deal.
“If you come up before [the] parole board, you do not come out,” Young said, according to the Post.
Young pointed out that a 22-year sentence would likely end up being a bit over 18 years of actual imprisonment, and that “even under the higher number [of years in jail], you would get out and be a young man, be with your family and get your life back.”
Read more at the New York Post.