The 16-year-old boy who allegedly set a mattress on fire in a Coney Island apartment building last month, sparking a blaze that killed a veteran NYPD officer who responded to the fire, pleaded not guilty to murder Thursday.
Marcell Dockery's lawyer says his client gave a false confession when police say he admitted to lighting the mattress on fire April 6. Police have said Dockery said he lit the fire because he was bored.
Attorney Jesse Young says Dockery was "coerced" into saying that after the NYPD allegedly turned the interrogation room into "a chamber of hell."
Dennis Guerra, 38, and his partner, 36-year-old Rosa Rodriguez, were among the first police officers who responded to the fire Sunday afternoon in the building on Surf Avenue.
The two took an elevator to the 13th floor to warn residents and help evacuate the building, but when they emerged from the elevator they were overcome by smoke.
Both officers, who are members of the force's housing bureau, were found unconscious by firefighters. Guerra, a married father of four and seven-year NYPD veteran, died of his injuries days after the fire. He had two daughters, 20 and 14, and two sons, 17 and 7.
Rodriguez is still recovering.
Five people suffered minor injuries, including two firefighters, authorities said.
Dockery is due back in court May 29.
--Andrew Siff contributed to this story