Hampton Motel robbery suspect pleads guilty

B y Derek Liebig

A New York City man who took part in the robbery of rival drug dealers in Hampton pleaded guilty last week to a felony robbery charge.

James L. “Bear” Neal, 41, of Brooklyn pleaded guilty last Wednesday to second-degree robbery and agreed to serve seven years in state prison with another five years on parole.

The plea came a week after Tyshen “Nitty” Matthews, 41, of Queens, who police allege orchestrated the robbery, was found guilty of two robbery charges as well as burglary, petit larceny and endangering the welfare of a child. He faces up to 25 years in state prison when sentenced on Jan. 3.

Neal had been scheduled to stand trial this week.

Neal and Matthews were among a group of six people—four New York City men and two local women—who went to the Hampton Motel on April 11 to rob a group of drug dealers from Connecticut. A seventh person, Nichole Lussier, was charged in connection with the robbery, but was not at the hotel the night of the incident.

During the robbery, the group used a pellet pistol to rob two women and several children of electronics, money and drugs.
Hours later, two men—Francisco Gonzalez, 23, and Jose Febus, 40, both of Conneticut—related to one of the robbery victims went to the Whitehall Mobile Home Park on Route 4 seeking retributuion and fired at least 10 shots from two rifles into a trailer where they believed the robbers were staying.

No was hurt in the shooting, but the bullets passed through a neighboring trailer, narrowly missing sleeping residents.

Gonzalez and Febus have both pleaded guilty to their role in the shooting.

Angela Lawrence, Jessica Lussier and Nichole Lussier have all pleaded guilty for their role in the robbery.

Police are still seeking two suspects—Jermaine “Nino” Thompson and a second man who has yet to be identified—in connection with the robbery.

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