Eric D. Floyd, the alleged driver in the May 2008 bank robbery that escalated into the killing of a Philadelphia police officer, today was denied the right to fire his court-appointed attorney.

Floyd, 35, told Common Pleas Judge Renee Cardwell Hughes that he was not pleased with defense attorney William Bowe and asked that the court replace him.

Hughes denied the request, which Floyd made before the start of jury selection.

Floyd, of North Philadelphia, and co-defendant Levon T. Warner, 41, of Mantua, have been charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy, robbery and related offenses in the May 3, 2008 shooting death of Police Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski, 39.

If convicted of first-degree murder, the jury could sentence Floyd and Warner to either the death penalty or to life in prison without the chance for parole.

Jury selection was to begin this afternoon and could last for several days.

The two defendants and Howard Cain, 34, allegedly robbed the Bank of America branch inside the ShopRite market on Aramingo Avenue near Castor.

While fleeing in a stolen Jeep, with Liczbinski in hot pursuit, Floyd stopped the vehicle and Warner handed Cain an SKS rifle, which he used to shoot the officer five times, according to statements Floyd and Warner gave police.

In his statement, Floyd said killing Liczbinski "was never intended." He also said: "I'm not the monster people make me out to be."

Cain was killed by police later that day.

Liczbinski was married with three children.