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Nicole duFresne's Alleged Killer Banned from Own Trial

by Don Cruise

Rudy Fleming, the 19-year-old accused of the Jan. 27, 2005 Lower East Side murder of 28-year-old actress Nicole duFresne, has been banned from a Manhattan courtroom as jury selection begins in his murder trial, because of his attempts to pass himself off as crazy. So ruled a judge yesterday.

Fleming lived in the West Brighton Houses in Brooklyn until he was arrested for aiming a gun at a truancy officer when he was 16. At the time of the murder Fleming was living with an uncle in Baruch Houses, a few blocks away from the scene of the crime. According to NYPD statistics, West New Brighton and the surrounding 120th Precinct are responsible for more than double the amount of criminal activity than the 7th Precinct.

According to prosecutors, Fleming is still alive today only because four brave cops took the chance he wouldn't use his gun on them in a 2001 confrontation. Fleming was a 16-year-old student when school safety officers took him to a truancy center on Nov. 27, 2001. Months earlier, he had been arrested on many counts of selling cocaine. This time he was armed, and drew his .380 semiautomatic pistol, getting into a shooting crouch. But everybody walked away from that faceoff because the cops showed remarkable restraint. Had they shot him, Nicole duFresne might be alive today.

Nicole duFresne was an actress and playwright with a boisterous laugh and a head full of ideas. She had also been assaulted by a rapist before. Mary Jane Gibson, 29, a friend who was standing next to her when she was killed described the confrontation: "She was in the guy's face." The two women were walking arm in arm as they left a bar after 3 a.m., a few steps behind their boyfriends. A group of attackers pistol-whipped Ms. duFresne's boyfriend, Jeffrey Sparks, and made a grab for her purse. Then duFresne "chest out, head high, shoulders back, not frightened at all... just approached everything with no fear."

She said, "You got what you wanted - what are you going to do now, shoot us?"

The bullet entered her chest and exited her back, the police said. It was not found.

Since Fleming's arrest for the January 2005 shooting, he's been trying to convince authorities he's insane.

But in the opinion of Judge Daniel FitzGerald "This is what a malingerer would do."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The death penalty would be too good for this sob...

9/27/2006 11:30 AM  
Blogger Yori Yanover said...

I don't believe we dispense them in this state.

9/27/2006 1:32 PM  

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