Judge recuses herself from deadly Queens shooting case against Charles Foehner

Judge Marty Lentz decided she’d recuse herself Thursday night from the case against a 65-year-old man who the NYPD said shot and killed an alleged would-be robber in Queens, telling the court it’s a complicated case.

Just the day before, Lentz authorized the search warrant for the NYPD that led to the discovery of several illegal firearms found at Charles Foehner’s home.

Lentz said her prior knowledge of the case would violate Foehner’s rights since the details, out of her scope, would force her to prejudge the case and that would be unfair to the defendant, she concluded. 

What we know about the shooting

According to police, Foehner shot and killed alleged ‘would-be robber’ Cody Gonzalez, 32, Wednesday around 2 a.m. along 82nd Avenue.

Police said Gonzalez approached Foehner, holding a sharp object demanding money and cigarettes, attempting to rob Fohner.

It turns out that sharp object was a pen, yet legal experts argue the shooting was justified under New York State law. 

Police said the confrontation escalated and Foehner pulled out a gun and shot Gonzalez.

He called 911 and waited at the scene. Gonzalez was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

What does surveillance footage show?

Police declined to publicly release surveillance footage of the incident, but FOX 5 NY's Raegan Medgie has learned it shows:

  • Shooter walking toward parking garage.
  • Would-be robber follows him.
  • Both have a discussion.
  • Shooter backs up, eventually shows handgun.
  • Robber pulls out object and starts lunging at shooter.
  • Both men go off-camera, when police said the shooting took place.

According to reports, Foehner has a weapons permit, but it allegedly does not cover the gun used in the shooting.

Dr. Darrin Porcher, a retired NYPD lieutenant, weighed in on the matter.

"It can set forth a dangerous precedent for future occurrences when people are taken into custody, in possession of a firearm, and that person can now say, hey, look, I was protecting myself because I was a victim of gang violence or something to that nature, and then it can create a plausible appeal moving forward," Porcher said.

Foehner appeared in court following his arrest, facing multiple criminal gun charges. He will go before a new judge Friday for arraignment.

In a statement, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said, "My office is charging Charles Foehner with multiple counts of criminal possession of a weapon. These are the charges factually supported by the evidence."