Mastermind of Hampton robbery convicted


Tyshen-Matthews(1)By Derek Liebig

A Washington County jury convicted a New York City man last Thursday for his role in a drug-related robbery that fueled an early morning shooting earlier this spring.

The jury found Tyshen “Nitty” Matthews, 41, of Queens, guilty of two robbery charges as well as burglary, petit larceny and endangering the welfare of a child.

Matthews was convicted for his part in robbing members of a rival drug group on April 11 at the Hampton Motel on Route 4 in Hampton.

Matthews was one of six people who went to the motel to confront a group from Connecticut that was selling drugs from the motel.

Using what they told police was a pellet gun the group robbed two women of money, electronics and drugs. A number of children were also present in the room.

Hours later, two Connecticut men—Francisco Gonzalez, 23, and Jose Febus, 40—went to Whitehall Mobile Home Park on Route 4 armed with rifles and fired at least 10 shots into a trailer where they believed the robbers to be staying.

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

Four people have been charged in the shooting and all have pleaded guilty or been convicted.

During Matthews’ four-day trial, the prosecution said Matthews had been in Whitehall selling drugs for at least four months and organized the robbery as a means of protecting his turf.

Matthews has ties in the area going back several years and has a number of prior drug arrests. Authorities believe he has been a major player in the local drug trade for years.

It took a jury less than an hour of deliberation to convict Matthews, who was arrested in Queens in June following an exhaustive investigation. Matthews did not testify during the trial, which began on Dec. 2.

Six other people are believed to have been involved in the robbery. James L. Neal, 41, of New York City, is set to stand trial beginning on Dec. 16.

An arrest warrant has been issued for Jermaine Thompson, 23, also of New York City and police have yet to verify the identity of a fourth male suspect.

Angela Lawrence, Jessica Lussier and Nichole Lussier were also charged for their role in the robbery and pleaded guilty to the charges. They testified against Matthews. Their home was targeted in the shooting.

Matthews refused a plea deal that would have resulted in a prison sentence of 5 to 10 years in exchange for his cooperation against Neal.

He faces up to 25 years in state prison when sentenced on Jan. 3.

 

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