2008-12-26 / Top Stories

Rockaway Thug Convicted, Second Gets Mistrial

By Howard Schwach

A Rockaway man who prosecutors say fired the two fatal gunshots into the face of Police Officer Russell Timoshenko was convicted of aggravated murder last week, a crime that mandates a life sentence with no chance of parole. At the same time, the trial of a third man for the murder of the police officer was declared a mistrial when one of the deliberating jurors reported that he was having heart palpitations and pain and needed to go into the hospital for more tests.

Dexter Bostic, 36, was the second of the trio of Rockaway residents who are on trial for the murder of Timoshenko and the wounding of Police Officer Herman Yan during a routine traffic stop in Brooklyn in July of 2007.

Bostic was also convicted on three counts of criminal possession of a weapon. In an unusual occurrence, three separate juries were hearing the cases of the three men, Bostic, Robert Ellis and Lee Woods, all from Rockaway.

Last week, the jury hearing the Ellis case came back with a verdict of not guilty on the murder charge, shocking the city's law enforcement community as well as politicians from Mayor Michael Bloomberg down to local elected officials.

Ellis, who had argued that he was driving the stolen automobile from which the shots were fired, was convicted, however, on three counts of weapons possession, which could lead to 45 years in prison.

On Monday of this week, the deliberations in the Lee Woods trial were halted and a mistrial was called, when a juror reported health problems.

Woods will be back in court on January 14 to plan for his retrial.

The three locals, riding in a car stolen from a Lawrence, Long Island car dealership, all pointed fingers at the others as the shooters, each arguing that he was driving the car and did not shoot at the two cops, Timoshenko, who was killed in the fusillade of bullets, and Yan, who was saved by his body armor.

Bostic and Ellis were found hiding in the woods in rural Pennsylvania by state troopers who had been tipped off by the local resident who dropped them off there after driving them from Rockaway.

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