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Trial Set for Men Accused of Killing Police Officer in 2004 Wendy's Robbery

Dec. 6, 2007 — Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday in the trial of four men charged in the shooting death of V.I. Police Officer Cuthbert Chapman nearly three years ago.
First-degree murder charges were filed against Reinaldo "Rey" Berrios Jr., 21, Angel "Malungo" Rodriguez, 24, Troy "Murder C" Moore, 25, and Felix "Bugsy" Cruz, 25, in the April 17, 2004, killing of Chapman, a 12-year veteran of the V.I. Police Department. The defendants also face local charges of unauthorized possession of a firearm during a crime and a host of federal charges, including carjacking.
Chapman was killed about 11 p.m. during a botched robbery attempt at Wendy’s fast-food restaurant in Sunny Isle while working off-duty as a security guard, authorities say. He suffered gunshot wounds to the back and upper right chest area, succumbing to his injuries nine days later.
During the robbery a gunman jumped the counter demanding money, according to affidavits by investigators in the case. Chapman pointed his gun at the robber and called on him to "freeze," according to court documents. The robber was Berrios, prosecutors say.
Chapman then called the 911 center to report the robbery attempt while holding Berrios at bay. Then three masked men with semiautomatic weapons entered the restaurant and fired at Chapman, who returned fire. The suspects fled the scene in a Chevrolet Cavalier, which was found abandoned in the Clifton Hill area. Police learned later that it had been stolen. The night of the shooting, the suspects stole a second vehicle at a gas station in LaReine, police said. Officers discovered the abandoned car, a Toyota Echo, in Fredensborg.
Prosecutors say they will prove that Rodriguez drove the getaway car. No money was taken from Wendy's, and no other injuries were reported.
If convicted, the men each face 105 years in prison and four consecutive life sentences.
Assistant U.S. attorneys Harry Wallace Jr. and Charles Duross from the Southern District of Florida have been assigned to prosecute the case before Chief District Judge Raymond Finch.
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