3 Indicted For Murder
By Joan Ward George
Three Far Rockaway men were indicted Friday, June 30, for the murder of Maria Medina, the 45 year old grandmother and mother of three who was shot to death by a stay bullet on March 10 while on routine tenant patrol in the lobby of her troubled Redfern housing development.
The indictment alleges that the victim, a well regarded member of the tenant safety patrol and a beloved tenant of the building, "was killed as a result of the depraved indifference to human life demonstrated by the three defendants in wantonly and recklessly shooting over two dozen times at each other in a public place," said Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown.
"The victim was killed as a result of the depraved indifference to human life demonstrated by the three defendants in wantonly and recklessly shooting over two dozen times at each other in a public place."
-Richard A. Brown
Queens District Attorney
The accused are Tullie Hyman, 20, of 69-14 Costa Avenue, Arverne, Jonathan Whitmore, 26, of 13-57 Dinkins street, Far Rockaway, and Osimba Rabsatt, 18, of 69-20 Hillmeyer avenue, Far Rockaway. Each of the perps are charged with murder in the second degree, attempted murder in the second degree, reckless endangerment in the first degree, and criminal possession of a weapon. When The Wave first published the incident in its March 18, 2000 edition it was reported that a stray bullet from a shootout just outside the Hassock street building ripped through the heavy metal door that fronts the first floor lobby and lodged itself in Medina’s upper body. Another bullet grazed a 19 year old Ridgewood man’s leg. He was reportedly talking to Medina at her lobby patrol post at the time of the shooting. The young man was visiting his girlfriend who lives in the building. He was treated and released at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital.
Medina, according to police, heard the shots outside the building and stood up and tried to make it to the elevator, but the deadly bullet caught her as she stood up. Others managed to get her into the elevator but it was there that she collapsed into unconsciousness. She was pronounced dead less than an hour later at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital.
Police learned later that evening that there were at least two cars, maybe more, that pulled up to the building firing shots at Jonathan Whitmore. According to police, nearly 30 rounds were fired. Police believe that the shootout was the result of a longstanding dispute over a girlfriend. Whitmore is accused of returning gunshots with his assailants. He was arrested shortly after the incident in an apartment in the building. Hyman, who is accused of being the alleged shooter, and Rabsatt were subsequently arrested on March 12 and June 8, respectively, by Detective Cashen of the 101 Precinct Detective Squad.
They are all being held without bail. If convicted of murder they face a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison.