Yesterday, a jury found 21 year old Rudy Fleming guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting death of Nicole duFresne. Fleming was also found guilty of various robbery and weapons charges stemming the January 2005 incident on Clinton Street. He and his friends had been robbing and scaring people, and when they came across duFresne, her fiance, and their friends; Fleming pistolwhipped fiance Jeffrey Sparks and duFresne reportedly confronted Fleming, saying, "What are you going to do, shoot us?" Fleming did shoot duFresne, but his defense attempted to argue that the gun went off by accident (witnesses disagreed). Fleming, who did not attend the trial, had been on parole for gun possession during the shooting. He now faces a maximum of life in prison without parole; his sentencing will be on November 30. The cases of his accomplices are sitll pending.
duFresne's family issued a statement after the verdict. Here's an excerpt:
There are some in the media who criticized her actions that night. In defense of her wounded and bleeding fiancé and friends, Nicole chose to step forward, asking for their release from further harm. She confronted the man with the gun, pleading for the confrontation to end. The response to her request was a bullet to her heart. If a man had acted in the same manner, he may have been proclaimed a hero. Nicole died that night defending those she loved. She is our hero.
The NY Times also noted: "The family conceded that they wished she had acted differently, because she might still be alive. 'But,' they said, 'she was true to who she was — a brave woman in every aspect of life, sometimes afraid but always brave.'” And Sparks speaks with the Daily News (who calls him "Scott" for some reason) and says, "She didn't mean, 'I dare you to shoot me.' She meant, 'It would be smart if you stopped pointing the gun at me so I can turn around and walk away and you can walk away.'"