Tyrone Howard convicted of killing Guyanese NYPD Officer, Randolph Holder
(Modified from New York Daily News) A cop-killing drug dealer was convicted Monday of shooting Guyanese Detective Randolph Holder in a pathetic bid to evade arrest.
A Manhattan jury found Tyrone Howard, 32, guilty of murder, robbery and other charges following four days of deliberations for the 2015 killing of the cop.
He faces a mandatory life sentence without parole.
As the verdict was read out Holder’s father, Randolph Holder Sr., his stepmother, Princess Holder, and other relatives wept and consoled each other.
Others in the courtroom packed with police officers and Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association reps were warned by Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Michael Obus after some attendees cheered.
Four jurors left the courtroom in tears at the conclusion of the month-long trial.
“This is just a tragic case and a sad day but we can’t thank the NYPD enough for their willingness to put their lives on the line,” Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said outside the courthouse.
Howard was on the run from a non-fatal shooting on E. 102nd St. on Oct. 20, 2015 when he encountered Holder and his partner Omar Wallace on the E. 120nd and FDR Drive footbridge, prosecutors said.
Howard, fearing he’d be arrested, pulled out a .40-caliber Glock semi-automatic pistol and fired, striking the rookie officer in the head.
Howard had an open warrant at the time of the killing for failing to show up to court. Police were looking for him after he’d not showed up to a second-chance drug diversion program.
A judge had enrolled the career criminal in the program after he was busted along with 18 other people in an October 2014 crack-cocaine takedown in East Harlem. Howard’s drug case was still pending when he shot Holder.
“He would do anything to avoid being captured,” prosecutor Linda Ford said.
At the time of the killing, the recidivist drug dealer had over 20 prior arrests — a record that outraged Mayor de Blasio at the time. He said Howard “should not have been on the streets.”
Holder’s father and grandfather were police officers in their native Guyana.
“Let us not forget that although we have gotten justice… when this family goes home they realize their son is still not in that house. It does not fix it,” PBA president Pat Lynch said.
“We thank this family for allowing us to have their brother and son and family member with us for the time that we had.”
The jurors took four days to reach their verdict. During deliberations they asked questions about the burden of proof, reasonable doubt and the definition of “intent,” leading spectators to wonder if the case was in jeopardy.
Several jurors said they had proceeded slowly to reach a consensus.
“We respected the fact that we had differences in opinion,” one male juror said.
Police Commissioner James O’Neill said the NYPD “is pleased to learn that justice has been served.”