By Patrick Markey
A Bronx judge Tuesday set a date next month for the murder trial of the New York Police Officer accused of killing Derry native Hessy Phelan, who died from a single gunshot wound three years ago.
Officer Richard Molloy’s trial on second-degree murder charges is tentatively scheduled to start on Feb. 22, prosecutors said.
Judge Stephen Barret’s decision follows months of legal wrangling between Molloy’s defense team and Bronx prosecutors over what evidence and which witnesses would be introduced into the proceedings.
Phelan died Jan. 21 1996, inside a Bronx apartment from a single gunshot to the head fired from Molloy’s 0.38 caliber service weapon. While there were no witnesses to the incident, prosecutors have charged that an enraged Molloy shot and killed Phelan.
Molloy, who is on modified duty with the NYPD, has always claimed that a suicidal Phelan snatched his service revolver out of its holster and shot himself before Molloy could stop him. Phelan, who was 39, spent 10 years in prisons in Northern Ireland for his involvement in the Irish National Liberation Army before coming to the United States.
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