Accused NY cop killer pleads not guilty to murder charge

Suspected Cop Killer Pleads Not Guilty In NYPD Officer's Death

NEW YORK (Reuters) -- The man accused of killing a New York City police officer in October pleaded not guilty to murder and other charges on Tuesday in state court in Manhattan.

Tyrone Howard, 31, is charged with firing a single shot into the head of Officer Randolph Holder on Oct. 20 in the city's East Harlem neighborhood.

"Not guilty," Howard said when asked how he pleaded to an 11-count indictment, as Holder's family and approximately 70 police officers watched from the courtroom gallery.

See more from the scene of the shooting:

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NYPD officer Randolph Holder shot in Harlem
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Accused NY cop killer pleads not guilty to murder charge
Suspected shooter of #NYPD Officer #RandolphHolder is Tyrone Howard, 30, with criminal past https://t.co/RgtXIwDfck
Once more the flags will be lowered. Once more the mourning bands will be worn. My message to the NYPD: https://t.co/aSQu1wQphI
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 21: An NYPD police officer puts up a reward poster for fellow officer Randolph Holder outside the Wagner Houses community center October 21, 2014 in the in East Harlem neighborhood of New York City. Holder, 33, was shot and killed in a confrontation with an armed suspect fleeing police on a pedestrian overpass over the FDR Drive Tuesday night. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 21: A poster bearing pictures of NYPD officer Randolph Holder is shown at a vigil outside Police Service Area #5 October 21, 2014 in the in East Harlem neighborhood of New York City. Holder, 33, was shot and killed in a confrontation with an armed suspect fleeing police on a pedestrian overpass over the FDR Drive Tuesday night. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 21: People walk past a makeshift memorial for police officer Randolph Holder outside the Wagner Houses community center on October 21, 2015 in New York City. The 33-year-old NYPD officer was killed in a confrontation with an armed suspect fleeing police on a pedestrian overpass over the FDR Drive in East Harlem. Randolph was pronounced dead at Harlem Hospital on Tuesday night. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 21: A girl prays at a makeshift memorial for police officer Randolph Holder outside the Wagner Houses community center on October 21, 2015 in New York City. The 33-year-old NYPD officer was killed in a confrontation with an armed suspect fleeing police on a pedestrian overpass over the FDR Drive in East Harlem. Randolph was pronounced dead at Harlem Hospital on Tuesday night. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 21: Harlem Community leader Martin Baez visits a makeshift memorial for police officer Randolph Holder outside Police Service Area 5 on October 21, 2015 in New York City. The 33-year-old NYPD officer was killed in a confrontation with an armed suspect fleeing police on a pedestrian overpass over the FDR Drive in East Harlem. Randolph was pronounced dead at Harlem Hospital on Tuesday night. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 21: An NYPD officer lights a candle at a vigil for fellow officer Randolph Holder outside Police Service Area #5 October 21, 2014 in the East Harlem neighborhood of New York City. Holder, 33, was shot and killed in a confrontation with an armed suspect fleeing police on a pedestrian overpass over the FDR Drive Tuesday night. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 21: A member of the Guardian Angels attend a vigil for NYPD officer Randolph Holder outside the Wagner Houses community center #5 October 21, 2014 in the East Harlem neighborhood of New York City. Holder, 33, was shot and killed in a confrontation with an armed suspect fleeing police on a pedestrian overpass over the FDR Drive Tuesday night. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 21: A group of young boys light candles at a vigil for NYPD officer Randolph Holder outside the Wagner Houses community center #5 October 21, 2014 in the East Harlem neighborhood of New York City. Holder, 33, was shot and killed in a confrontation with an armed suspect fleeing police on a pedestrian overpass over the FDR Drive Tuesday night. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
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The arraignment came two weeks after Howard was sentenced to the maximum 12 years in prison in a separate drug case for which he initially received treatment, rather than prison, as part of a plea agreement for selling crack cocaine.

The outcome of that case drew criticism from Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner William Bratton in the wake of Holder's shooting. They suggested that two state judges erred in allowing Howard to remain on the streets after a history of drug offenses.

The Manhattan judge who ultimately approved Howard's plea deal, Patricia Nunez, handed down the maximum penalty on Nov. 12 in the drug dealing case, saying Howard had squandered a chance to turn his life around.

However, Nunez also had harsh words for de Blasio and Bratton, saying they had created a "false narrative" by ignoring that Howard had never been convicted of a violent crime and that he was already out on bail at the time of his plea.

She said the mayor should ask himself whether his own policies "make somebody actually feel he can shoot a cop," prompting de Blasio to fire back that her comments were "irresponsible."

Howard, who failed to complete his treatment, was wanted in connection with a gang-related shooting at the time of Holder's death.

Holder, 33, a third-generation officer, was the fourth New York City officer to be killed in the line of duty since December 2014.

See more of the funeral service for Officer Randolph Holder:

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NYPD officer Randolph Holder funeral
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Accused NY cop killer pleads not guilty to murder charge
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 28: The casket bearing the remains of slain NYPD Officer Randolph Holder is taken out of Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York October 28, 2015 in the Queens borough of New York City. Holder, 33, was gunned down while chasing a suspect in East Harlem last week, the fourth officer to be fatally shot in the line of duty in New York City in the last 10 months. Tyrone Howard was taken into custody a few blocks away and has been charged with murder and robbery. Holder will be buried in Guyana. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 28: A painting of slain NYPD Officer Randolph Holder, 33, is viewed at his funeral at Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York on October 28, 2015 in the Queens borough of New York City. Holder, 33, was gunned down while chasing a suspect in East Harlem last week, the fourth officer to be fatally shot in the line of duty in New York City in the last 10 months. Tyrone Howard was taken into custody a few blocks away and has been charged with murder and robbery. Holder will be buried in Guyana. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 28: The family of slain NYPD Officer Randolph Holder grieves as his coffin is taken out of a Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York on October 28, 2015 in the Queens borough of in New York City. Holder, 33, was gunned down while chasing a suspect in East Harlem last week, the fourth officer to be fatally shot in the line of duty in New York City in the last 10 months. Tyrone Howard was taken into custody a few blocks away and has been charged with murder and robbery. Holder will be buried in Guyana. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 28: Police officers and others stand at attention as the hearse carrying the casket bearing the remains of slain NYPD Officer Randolph Holder drives away from a Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York on October 28, 2015 in the Queens borough of in New York City. Holder, 33, was gunned down while chasing a suspect in East Harlem last week, the fourth officer to be fatally shot in the line of duty in New York City in the last 10 months. Tyrone Howard was taken into custody a few blocks away and has been charged with murder and robbery. Holder will be buried in Guyana. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 28: Police officers stand at attention as the hearse carrying the casket bearing the remains of slain NYPD Officer Randolph Holder drives away from a Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York on October 28, 2015 in the Queens borough of in New York City. Holder, 33, was gunned down while chasing a suspect in East Harlem last week, the fourth officer to be fatally shot in the line of duty in New York City in the last 10 months. Tyrone Howard was taken into custody a few blocks away and has been charged with murder and robbery. Holder will be buried in Guyana. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
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Patrick Lynch, head of the city's largest police union, said officers would pack the courtroom whenever Howard appears. He called Howard an "animal," "miscreant" and "clown."

"We will be back here each and every time this mutt shows up in court," he said following the hearing, standing beside Holder's father, Randolph Sr.

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