Vickers in court for one last appearance before trial begins

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Jury selection begins Monday in the trial of Kelvin Vickers.

He’s accused of fatally shooting Rochester Police Officer Anthony Mazurkiewicz, the attempted murder of Officer Sino Seng, and the wounding of a 15-year-old girl hit by a stray bullet. Vickers was in court Tuesday for one last preliminary hearing.

It lasted less than 25 minutes and gave the prosecutor, defense attorneys, and the judge a final chance to meet before a jury is seated for the trial.

Vickers is accused of ambushing Mazurkiewicz and Seng on Bauman Street in July 2022. The two were in a parked, unmarked vehicle working undercover and investigating a murder believed to be connected to a marijuana drug ring in he city.

In Tuesday’s preliminary hearing, Vickers waived his right to go up to Judge Julie Hahn’s bench whenever the prosecution and defense have a sidebar. She has already ruled that only 10 uniformed officers will be allowed in the courtroom. Her decision as based on precedent set years ago. Law enforcement in plainclothes will still be allowed in the gallery.

Vickers faces multiple charges for an alleged three-day crime spree.

“A reckless endangerment and arson, and then a murder and the attempted murder of officers Mazurkiewicz and Seng on July 21st,” District Attorney Sandra Doorley said. “So it’s going to be, you know, the course of conduct over approximately three days, and our plan is to start from the beginning and take the jury through it.”

Michael Schiano, one of Vickers’ attorneys, called the case “extremely complex.”

“A lot of issues, a lot of things that happened over the course of the 72-hour period, that’s going to come in one way or the other,” he said. “There’s a lot of video, a lot of, I don’t want to call speculations as to what happened in this case, and again we’re going to wait and see what the facts show.”

Doorley said Tuesday that the girl hit by the stray bullet and her family have decided not to testify in the trial. It’s expected to last four to five weeks.