By Ivan Pereira
During their testimony in the criminal trial of Detectives Michael Oliver, Gescard Isnora and Marc Cooper, Hugh Jensen, 31, of Jamaica, and Larenzo Kinred, 34, of Far Rockaway, recalled the events of Bell's bachelor party at the Kalua Cabaret in Jamaica on Nov. 25, 2006, to Supreme Court Judge Arthur Cooperman.
Both men said they were waiting on 94th Avenue at approximately 4 a.m. for their friends to leave the strip club when they saw Bell argue with a man dressed in black who was in an SUV parked in front of the door.
“I heard the man in black say, 'You can't be doing that up there. I got money in there,' ” Kinred said.
The club was being investigated for suspected drug and prostitution operations and the detectives' attorneys claim the SUV driver, Fabio Coicou, was a suspected pimp.
Jensen said he was concerned because the driver had one hand in his pocket in a suggestive manner.
“Of course I thought he had a gun. I didn't know what he had in his pocket,” Jensen said when he was cross-examined by the defense.
Bell, 23, went to his car, which was parked on the corner of Liverpool Street and 94th Avenue, with Trent Benefield, 23, and Joseph Guzman, 32, while Coicou slowly drove away, according to Jensen's and Kinred's testimony.
Seconds later, undercover officers approached Bell to investigate whether or not he was armed, prosecutors said. Bell, who was supposed to be married later that morning, rammed his sedan into their van, which prompted five of the detectives to open fire.
He was killed, while Benefield and Guzman were injured and arrested. However none of the three had a gun.
In March 2007, Oliver, who fired 31 shots and reloaded, and Isnora, who fired 11 times, were indicted on manslaughter charges while Cooper was charged with reckless endangerment for the shooting.
See the March 6 editions of the TimesLedger Newspapers for the full story.