THE BRONX - A judge was selected Monday in the trial of a police officer who allegedly shot and killed a drunken man in Longwood last year.
Officer Raphael Lora appeared in Bronx Supreme Court to learn the name of the judge. Her name was drawn for the case lottery-style.
Lora pleaded not guilty in December to one count of first-degree manslaughter. Officials said the off-duty officer shot five times at Honduran immigrant Fermin Arzu, striking him in the heart, when the drunken man hit a parked car near Lora's Longwood home in May.
Arzu's relatives and a lawyer representing the family held a news conference after the hearing. "Christmas passed, New Year's passed and I don't have my father," said Katherine Arzu. "It's not the same. It'll never be the same."
Family attorney Sanford Rubenstein said he is hoping for a fair and impartial trial.
Lora's attorney maintains his client is remorseful, but did nothing wrong and was only protecting his neighborhood.
The officer will appear in court again Feb. 26. He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.
For the Arzu family's news conference after the hearing, go to Channel 612 on your iO digital cable box and select iO Extra.