A Yaphank man couldn't have shot a road worker in the neck one morning in May 2010 in Ronkonkoma, his sister-in-law testified Wednesday, because he was in Queens at the time dozing on her couch and later getting her cash from an ATM.
May Frances Ross, 48, of Jamaica, Queens, testified at the double-murder trial of her husband's younger brother, Reginald Ross, 37.
He is charged with two counts of second-degree murder, accused of fatally shooting flagman Raymond Hirt, 51, of Mastic Beach on May 24, 2010, at a construction site because he Hirt had delayed him in traffic and called him a racial slur.DataGun crime numbersPhotosRecent LI mug shots
He's also accused of the unrelated shooting of John Williams, 39, outside his Holbrook home on Oct. 14, 2010.
Prosecutors said Ross killed Williams to lure Williams' friend Kyle Greening to the funeral to kill him, too. Greening testified earlier that he owned Ross money for oxycodone, and had left the state.
May Ross told state Supreme Court Justice William Condon, who is hearing the case without a jury, that she recalled Reginald Ross letting himself into her home at 2:53 a.m. that morning. During questioning by defense attorney John Scarpa Jr., she said she noted the time when she heard the door open.
Ross, an insurance company claims manager who has a law degree, said she was surprised by his unannounced visit, but not alarmed. He had a key to the house and was welcome any time, she said. He was still there when she left at 7 a.m. to take her sons to school, and she saw him again at about 8:30 a.m. when they both showed up her grandmother's house to check on her.
That's when she asked to borrow money from him and they went to a nearby store so he could withdraw it from an ATM there. Prosecutors had introduced a bank record of the withdrawal earlier in the trial.
Hirt was shot before 7 a.m.
During his cross-examination of May Ross, Assistant District Attorney Eric Aboulafia suggested she made it all up to help a man who she acknowledged she loves like a brother.
She said she was unaware of his criminal record and did not know he was a drug dealer or a member of the Crips street gang, as prosecutors allege.
Aboulafia asked why she never came forward with the alibi until now. The witness said she told Reginald Ross' first attorney and was surprised it went nowhere.
"I expected the attorney, who was on retainer, to do his job," she said.