The “bored teen” who set a deadly mattress fire in Coney Island in 2014 has been sentenced to 19 years to life in prison for his felony murder and arson conviction, announced Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson today.
Marcell Dockery, 18, was convicted on on May 5 of second-degree murder, first-degree assault and fourth-degree arson after a jury trial, according to prosecutors.
“When Police Officers Guerra and Rodriguez responded to that fire inside that building, they did so to save lives,” said Thompson. “However, a senseless act of arson cost a very courageous police officer his life and destroyed the health and career of another heroic officer. The sentence imposed by the court today reflects the severity of the crime committed by the defendant.”
Dockery lit a mattress on fire in the hallway of 2007 Surf Avenue, a NYCHA complex, at around 12:30pm, on April 6, 2014, according to trial testimony. When Officer Dennis Guerra and his partner, Officer Rosa Rodriguez — who responded to a 911 call — arrived on the 13th floor, the location of the fire, they were overcome by toxic smoke.
Responding firefighters found both officers unconscious and rescued them from the building. Officer Guerra, a second-generation police officer, succumbed to his injuries three days later. He is survived by his wife and four children. Officer Rodriguez recovered and is currently assigned to the New York City Police Department’s Medical Division and placed on limited duty due to her injuries.
Prosecutors say that Dockery, who lived on the 12th floor, admitted to setting the deadly fire, telling investigators, “I decided to take a lighter and light the top of the mattress because I was bored.”