New York Daily News

December 22, 2008 

Mistrial declared in case against third suspect in Timoshenko murder Lee Woods


    Lee Woods
Theodorakis, Andrew

Lee Woods will be tried again in 2009.

The mistrial means Lee Woods, 30, will go on trial again next year for the murder of NYPD Officer Russel Timoshenko. One of Woods' co-defendants was convicted of murder and the other acquitted of the most serious charges in earlier verdicts.

A note last week indicated that jurors "had reached a conclusion on three counts [and] were deadlocked on two," Prosecutor Anna-Sigga Nicolazzi said yesterday morning, asking the judge to take a partial verdict.

Juror No. 11, one of three holdouts, told Justice Plummer Lott doctors wouldn't let her continue deliberating. Lott asked if she could return to deliberations after Christmas if deliberations were delayed.

When the juror said no, Lott declared the mistrial.

For Timoshenko's mother, the unfulfilling third trial of her son's accused killers was a bitter pill.

"There's no justice in this country," Tatyana Timoshenko said, mulling the prospect of sitting through another five-week-long trial. "It's so obvious, I don't know how much more evidence you need."

Police representatives were frustrated.

"How much can one family stand?" Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said in a statement. "We pray that the Timoshenkos will be given the strength to endure."

Last Wednesday, Woods' pal Robert Ellis, 35, was acquitted of murder by a separate jury, which convicted him of the much lesser charge of weapons possession.

And on Friday, a third jury convicted Dexter Bostic, 36, of fatally shooting 23-year-old Timoshenko and helping wound 26-year-old Officer Herman Yan after a traffic stop in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens.

Bostic faces life without parole when he is sentenced in February. Ellis, slated to be sentenced next month, faces between five and 15 years for each of three counts of criminal possession of a weapon.

Woods' lawyer, Samuel Karliner, said the ex-con was disappointed because he felt a "connection" with the sick juror - a 41-year-old black woman who lived just blocks from the shooting. Woods refused to approve an alternate juror.

"Lee's upset in one sense because he wanted a verdict," Karliner said. "He just didn't feel comfortable substituting an alternate juror."

Woods was apparently right, according to another juror who said that although all the jurors wanted to convict on the gun charges, the ill juror was one of three leaning toward acquittal on murder and attempted murder after 13 hours of deliberations.