Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Edwin Santana, who shot NYPD officer Rodney Lewis, served time for murder

From The Daily News by Oren Yaniv BOren:

The ex-con whose gun accidentally went off and wounded a cop spent 15 years in prison for killing a man in a dispute, it was revealed Monday.

Details on Edwin Santana's rap sheet emerged when the 33-year-old parolee was arraigned on assault and gun charges in the Sunday shooting of Police Officer Rodney Lewis.

"I had the gun, but I didn't shoot nobody," Santana told cops immediately after his arrest, court papers said.

In a signed statement, he later claimed he ran into Carlos Berrios - the guy whose domestic incident with Santana's transgendered ex-girlfriend brought cops to the scene.

Santana said Berrios told him the cops were after him and gave him his gun.

A criminal complaint said two officers then stopped Santana and searched him, finding a pistol in his waistband.

Santana then turned around, causing Officer Mark Bublin to drop the gun. One round was discharged, hitting Lewis, 40.

The bullet lodged in the side of the cop's chest. The father of three is recovering and is expected to leave the hospital within days.

"It was an unfortunate accident," Santana's court-appointed lawyer, Germaine Auguste, said in Queens Supreme Court. "It appears to be an accidental shooting."

Santana, who has no known address, was ordered held on $100,000 bail for two felonies that can land him in prison for 15 years.

That's how much time he did for the October 1991 murder of William Sainato at Rufus King Park in Jamaica, Queens.

Santana, then 15, and his friends blamed Sainato for stealing the donation jar from a makeshift memorial erected for their slain friend, sources said. They punched and kicked him, leaving shoe prints on his face.

Santana pleaded guilty and was sentenced as a juvenile to five years to life in prison, records show.

He was released in August 2006 but missed a number of appointments with his parole officer, who issued a warrant, prosecutors said.

"He's not a bad guy," his brother, who would not give his name, said after the court proceeding.

A friend said Santana couldn't find a job or get his life back on track after getting out of prison.

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