Man held in NYPD officer's shooting claims self-defense in 2016 case

Lester Pearson charged in 2016 shooting at Baymeadows apartment

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville man accused of shooting a New York City police officer killed someone in self-defense during a home invasion robbery in the Baymeadows neighborhood, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

It was mistakenly reported by the New York City Police Department that Lester Pearson, charged with shooting an NYPD officer in 1999, killed the policeman. Investigators said confusion over the wording in Pearson's warrant led to the belief the officer was fatally wounded.

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During a Wednesday hearing at the Duval County Courthouse, News4Jax learned Pearson was accused of shooting and killing a man in 2016. Pearson, who officers said was going by the alias Michael Davis, told police that two brothers, both armed with guns, came into his home at the Bentley Green Apartments wearing masks and gloves.

According to the Sheriff's Office, Pearson got into a struggle with the two men who were identified as Lucky Cox and Sergio Cox. Pearson was shot in his stomach, and Pearson fired the shot that killed Sergio Cox.

Lucky Cox was charged with murder, home invasion and other offenses. Pearson was not charged.

JSO mug shot: Lucky Cox
JSO mug shot: Lucky Cox

On Wednesday, Cox appeared in court, where his attorney told a judge in light of Pearson's criminal history, he wants Pearson questioned again. The judge granted the motion, and Pearson remains in the Duval County jail.

"There's evidence they believe would affect the credibility of the alleged victim in this case, Mr. Pearson," said attorney Rhonda Peoples-Waters, who is not affiliated with the case. "At the time they took this deposition, it obviously didn't provide the details of his other criminal involvement."

Peoples-Waters said Lucky Cox's attorney might tell the judge that Lucky Cox and his brother were at Pearson's home for a different reason. Pearson might then be considered the aggressor in this case, which could ultimately change the outcome.