Criminal Justice

Prosecutors will seek 18 to 24 months in prison for 2 lawyers accused in Molotov cocktail attack on cop car

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AP photo Racial Injustice Firebombing Charges

New York lawyers Colinford Mattis (left) and Urooj Rahman in their May 2020 booking photos. Photos from the U.S. attorney’s office of the Eastern District of New York via the Associated Press.

Prosecutors and two lawyers accused in a Molotov cocktail attack on an unoccupied police car have reached a plea deal that would spare the defendants some prison time.

Federal prosecutors will seek a sentence of 18 to 24 months in prison for lawyers Colinford Mattis and Urooj Rahman, according to a letter filed with U.S. District Judge Brian M. Cogan of the Eastern District of New York.

Law.com, the New York Post and the New York Daily News have coverage.

Previously, Mattis and Rahman faced a potential sentence of up to 10 years in prison as a result of a prior deal in which they pleaded guilty to the unlawful creation and possession of incendiary devices. The government will move to dismiss the prior indictment, and the two lawyers will plead guilty to a superseding charge of conspiracy, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

The government noted probation department findings that the two lawyers had previously led “law-abiding lives free of prior criminal convictions.”

Mattis, a 2016 graduate of the New York University School of Law, was suspended from his job as a Pryor Cashman associate after he was charged in the 2020 incident. Public interest lawyer Rahman, a graduate of the Fordham University School of Law, had already lost her job, according to prior reports.

Rahman was accused of tossing the Molotov cocktail at an unoccupied New York City police car during protests over the 2020 death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man who was killed by a Minneapolis police officer. Mattis was accused of driving the getaway car, a tan minivan.

According to Law.com, defense lawyers are likely to seek a sentence of time served. Mattis and Rahman have spent nearly two years in home confinement.

See also:

ABAJournal.com: “2 lawyers plead guilty in Molotov cocktail attack on cop car; prosecutors seek terrorism enhancement”

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