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South Jamaica rob try ends in ex-con’s suicide

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Around 1 a.m. Saturday, 31-year-old Shomari Hill and three other men accosted Anthony Peterson, as he and a woman named Nicole Glenn were walking into Peterson's house at 107th Avenue, according to the criminal complaint filed in Queens Criminal Court. The four alleged burglars, which include 43-year-old Rodney Flora and 34-year-old Shawn Hill, of Brooklyn, and 41-year-old Gerald Phillips, of Central Islip, L.I., began pistol-whipping Peterson and demanding his money, according to the criminal complaint. They also took jewelry from him and Glenn, and threatened to kill her if Peterson did not give them money, the complaint said.Shawn Hill beat up the other residents of the 107th Avenue house, Clarence and Michele Washington, and then tied them up with a telephone wire and a belt, while Shomari Hill took a ring from Washington's finger, according to the criminal complaint.It was not clear if Shawn Hill and Shomari Hill are related.Deon Jones, another resident of the house who heard the noise, called 911 while in hiding. Police responded to the scene with dozens of officers and a SWAT team while the burglary was in progress and arrested two of the burglars leaving the house, and found another in a closet."It was organized chaos," one police source said.Shomari Hill was found in the upstairs bedroom dead of a gunshot wound to the head, which the medical examiner ruled a suicide. "As (the SWAT team) was gearing up, he fired the shot," an officer said. Shomari Hill was paroled in January after serving 12 years for attempted murder and robbery, according to state records. Witnesses told police they had heard him say he did not want to go back to jail before he shot himself.Police said Shomari Hill once lived with his wife and 10-year-old stepson on 165th Street in South Jamaica, but had moved to Brooklyn. Police said they were investigating whether the burglars knew Peterson and Glenn before the robbery.Flora, Shawn Hill, and Phillips are charged with burglary, robbery, and criminal possession of weapons and were due back in court Thursday. Each face up to 25 years in prison if convicted. Robert Walters, a lawyer representing Flora, said some of the victims' testimonies may not be as straightforward as they claimed."This was more than met the eye and what the DA thinks it is. This is about the drug business," Walters said. "I'm suggesting there were drugs found in the house and this may have been an argument over drugs. What the complainant witnesses are saying may not be the full truth."Reporter Michael Morton contributed to this article.Reach reporter Sophia Chang by e-mail at news@timesledger.com, or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.

Posted 7:03 pm, October 10, 2011
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