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Third man convicted of killing Epstein, cop

By Bryan Schwartzman

Rohan Bolt was convicted last Thursday for his role in the botched robbery and murder of Ira Epstein, a Douglaston man who owned a check-cashing store in Corona and off-duty Police Officer Charles Davis of Jamaica in December 1996.

Bolt, 39, of Corona was found guilty of murder in the second degree by a jury in State Supreme Court in Kew Gardens and faces 25 years to life in prison, said a spokeswoman for the Queens district attorney. Bolt was scheduled to be sentenced May 9.

Bolt was the third man convicted of what Assistant District Attorney Brad Leventhal called a premeditated plan to rob the check-cashing store and eliminate the witnesses.

In May 1999, George Bell was convicted of first-degree murder for shooting Epstein and Davis. Bell was eligible for the death penalty but was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

In December, Gary Johnson, who Leventhal contended was the mastermind behind the robbery, was convicted of second-degree murder.

John Bigweh, of Brooklyn, the fourth suspect, testified against the other defendants in exchange for a lighter sentence. He pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and weapons possession and is still awaiting sentencing, according to the DA

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