New York (New York Daily News) – A murder suspect who went underground in Guyana after a 2011 Queens killing was brought back to the city Thursday to finally face charges, officials said.
Troy Thomas, 33, was charged with murder by NYPD detectives in the 106th Precinct Thursday as part of the first extradition case between the U.S. and Guyana in recent years.
Thomas is accused of killing Keith Frank at a house party in Richmond Hill on Dec. 11, 2011. He was identified as a suspect early in the investigation but he had already fled to Guyana. The Queens District Attorney’s office said Thomas was indicted in 2012.
Thomas was ordered held without bail at arraignment Thursday in Queens Criminal Court, the DA’s office said.
“The defendant has been on the run for seven years, but today he is in our custody and will answer for the senseless killing of a 20-year-old man in South Richmond Hill, Queens, just before Christmas in 2011,” said Chief Assistant District Attorney John M. Ryan.
“The family of the victim deserves justice for their deceased loved one,” said Ryan. “The defendant now faces a lengthy term of incarceration for his alleged actions.”
About 4:30 a.m. the day of the killing, the victim argued with Thomas at a party on 132nd St. and 109th Ave., cops said. After a heated exchange, Thomas got a gun from his car and shot Frank in the chest, they said.
Frank, 20, was just blocks from his home, and had become a father eight months before, the District Attorney’s office said.
Police in Guyana busted Thomas in March 2018. At the time he was staying with a make-up artist and social media celebrity, according to Guyanese media reports.
Thomas exhausted all his rights to appeal his extradition under the Guyanese constitution, U.S. Embassy officials said.
Frank is missed by his friend Carlos Quinteros, 27. The pair met as teenage next-door neighbors. “He was actually the first friend I had in this neighborhood,” said Quinteros. “We used to do everything together.”
The two boys looked out for each other. Frank liked basketball and Quinteros played handball, and they would walk together back and forth to the park.
“At the time, there was more gangs out here so it wouldn’t benefit you to walk around by yourself,” Quinteros recalled. “The neighborhood wasn’t too good, to be honest, back then.”
He recounted how they would go to parties together.
Quinteros said he joined the military. About a year later, “I learned that he was killed at a party.” He was stationed in the South and returned for the funeral.
“Part of me was surprised and part of me wasn’t because of those house parties where there’s alcohol and young people, you never know what happens,” Quinteros said. “It still feels like it just happened.”
There are 20 pending extradition cases between the U.S. and Guyana, but authorities there wanted Thomas to be the first one brought back to face charges, sources said.
“Establishing a roadmap for future extraditions, bringing a fugitive to justice, making Guyana a safer place for Guyanese citizens — this is the best example of rule of law existing in Guyana,” U.S. Ambassador Sarah-Ann Lynch said in a statement.
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