Jury finds man guilty of killing Monroe woman

| 21 Feb 2012 | 11:00

    GOSHEN-The law said the three strikes and your're out. Robert Elliott is now out of society's game. Even though an Orange County Court jury opted for the charge of manslaughter rather than murder earlier this week, the 58-year old felon will probably spend the rest of his life behind bars. And regardless of whatever sentence will be handed down, Orange County District Attorney Frank Phillips said he's pretty certain that Elliott will die in prison for the stabbing death of Suzanne Timmoney. Monroe police found the body of the 45-year-old homemaker on the evening of Nov. 30 in the 11 Ash St. apartment she shared with Elliott. Police said she had been killed sometime after Nov. 27. Following the discovery, police began searching for her Elliott, because he was "the last person to see her alive," said Monroe Det. James Frankild in December. Elliott, 56, was Dec. 3 at the Port Authority bus terminal in New York City, where police said he was waiting to get aboard a bus heading to Washington, D.C. He was held at the Orange County Jail on a charge of second-degree murder. On Tuesday, the jury found Elliott guilty of first-degree manslaughter. "We're disappointed with the verdict, but that's why we have a jury," Phillips said. Phillips said that during the trial, the jury did not know about Elliott's previous felony history, including another conviction of manslaughter of a girlfriend which Phillips said was identical to the Timmoney case. The jury in this case, Phillips said, did not find Elliott guilty of murder because "he was acting in an extreme emotional state that he did not intend to kill her but he did." Elliott served 14 years in prison for beating a woman to death. On Sept. 6, 2004, Monroe police arrested him on charges of assaulting Timmoney. But when she did not appear for subsequent court appearances, police released him. In an interview after the verdict, Monroe Police Detective Rob Compasso said, "We proved beyond a reasonable doubt he killed her, that nobody else did or helped him and we showed the jury how he did it. It was up to the jury to determine his state of mind." "To the best of my knowledge, nobody testified regarding his state of mind nor did anyone testify on his behalf," he added. The jury was only vaguely aware of an incident that occurred two months previous to the victim's death, said Compasso, "that Elliott threatened her and held a knife to her throat." Elliott's defense was that Timmoney was cheating on him. At sentencing on June 13 before County Court Judge Nicholas DeRosa, Phillips said he plans to ask for a 25-year sentence. By law, Elliott has to serve 85 percent of that term. With two prior felony convictions, however, he will be presented as a persistent felony offender. Phillips said the judge will hear all arguments before handing down the sentence. Elliott has been held without bail in Orange County Jail since his arrest December 3 at the Port Authority bus terminal in the city. " I hope the judge will give him the maximum term so that he will not get out and kill a third woman," Phillips said. Timmoney leaves behind a daughter in her 20s who is in the Navy and a teenaged son.