- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 3, 2001

Robert Yost was gunned down in the middle of the day as he sat in his tractor-trailer in Clinton, Md., five years ago, and the investigation into his slaying seemed to die soon after.
But when a tip about the killing came in to Prince George's County police a few months ago, the department's cold-case squad resurrected the investigation a move that paid off with the arrest of two suspects.
Hassan Hakin Bussie of Greenbelt and William E. Boggon of Pensacola, Fla., both 26, each face a first-degree murder charge for the slaying of Mr. Yost, a father of two who lived in Newville, Pa.
The suspects are being held in the Prince George's County jail in Upper Marlboro without bond. No court hearing has been scheduled, police said.
Kay Gill, who made tracking down her brother's killers a personal crusade, said the suspects' arrest brings relief, but also reopens wounds.
"It's over and it isn't," said Mrs. Gill, 52, who traveled to police headquarters in Prince George's County from her home in Middletown, Pa., yesterday.
"This brought everything back, and the nightmares start over again. But at least you know you've gotten somewhere in five years when you thought it would never go anywhere," she said.
Mr. Yost, 49, was killed after driving his truck to the loading docks of the Shoppers Food Warehouse on Coventry Way in Clinton on Nov. 20, 1995.
As he opened the door to exit his tractor-trailer, one of two men in a burgundy Nissan Pathfinder climbed up the truck's side and shot Mr. Yost several times at point-blank range. Mr. Yost died at the scene.
The suspects were angry at Mr. Yost because they felt he cut them off while driving on Old Branch Avenue, police said.
Mr. Bussie is believed to be the shooter, police said.
The case was a tough one from the start because police had only a general description of the suspects and the vehicle, no apparent motive and few witnesses.
"We had very few leads to go on when the shooting first occurred," said Cpl. Diane Richardson, a public information officer for the police department.
Detectives chased down leads and conducted interviews after the shooting but found no suspects. Various tips came in over the years, but they never panned out.
Then, in October, the "tip that broke the case" came in on the police CrimeSolvers line, Cpl. Richardson said.
As the homicide unit's cold-case investigators followed up, it became clear that this time, the information was solid and could lead to the killers.
Prince George's County police arrested Mr. Boggon, who was living in Clinton, in November and arrested Mr. Bussie in Greenbelt on Dec. 27.
Mr. Boggon and Mr. Bussie were never considered suspects or even known to police before the telephone tip in October.
Neither man has a criminal record in Prince George's County.
"It wasn't until almost five years to the anniversary of his death that we received a phone call, and that person provided us with the information we needed to solve the case," Cpl. Richardson said.
For Mrs. Gill, news that her brother's suspected killers will be brought to justice arrived at an ironic time: A detective called her Nov. 20, five years to the day after her brother was slain, to say police had received information that could lead to arrests.
Mrs. Gill said she sometimes became frustrated over the last five years, but that call "kind of wiped everything out," she said.
Mrs. Gill kept abreast of the case for five years, constantly calling detectives for updates on the investigation.
"I was a thorn to the police," she said. "I came down once a week and was on the phone 10 times a day."
The weight of her only sibling's murder even contributed to health problems, including a heart attack two years ago.
"I was just running myself into the ground on this case," she said. "It never goes away. You can put closure on it, but it's not over."
Mrs. Gill raised about $6,000 in reward money and passed out thousands of fliers in Clinton every year around the anniversary of her brother's death.
She and her husband traveled to Clinton for an annual memorial service behind the warehouse at the spot where her brother died.
Her brother, Mrs. Gill said, was an outgoing, friendly man devoted to his two children, now 16 and 18. He was raising them on his own after a divorce.
He picked his trucking job so he could make it home to see his children every night, Mrs. Gill said.
Her brother had worked as a truck driver for most of his life, Mrs. Gill said, and she doubts that he would have carelessly cut the two men off in traffic.
Mr. Yost was not even supposed to go to the Clinton Shoppers Food Warehouse that day, she said. A previous driver had been unable to pick up some wood skids, so Mr. Yost agreed to change his route and pick them up.
He had been planning to spend Thanksgiving at his sister's house.
"Instead, we spend black Friday at a funeral home," Mrs. Gill said.


Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide