Home aide charged for death of old man in Bed-Stuy home invasion
The home aide of a 91-year-old man who died of heart failure when his Bedford-Stuyvesant home was broken into pleaded not guilty on Friday in Brooklyn Supreme Court for her alleged role in the burglary.
Suzette Troutman, 45, shuffled into the courtroom in tan prison garb to make her not-guilty plea to second-degree murder, burglary and assault charges for the Oct. 11 home invasion at 160 Decatur St.
Troutman allegedly waited in a getaway vehicle while her nephew, Dwayne Blackwood, 27, and another man broke in and tied up Ethlin Thompson, 100, and her husband Waldiman Thompson, according to court documents. Troutman was joined in the car by a 3-year-old child.
The pair allegedly made off with about $5,000 and left Waldiman tied up in electrical cord while he suffered from heart failure, according to prosecutors. Ethlin was able break free from her restraints to call for help, but Waldiman was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
Troutman plotted the burglary while she worked as Waldiman Thompson’s personal aide, doing chores and helping around the house, for two years before the incident, prosecutors alleged.
“This defendant betrayed the trust of an elderly couple who allowed her access to their home,” DA-Elect Eric Gonzalez said in a statement. “Instead of helping them with errands and housekeeping, as she was hired to do, we allege that she callously set them up to be robbed by her nephew and his accomplice.”
Troutman and Blackwell were indicted by a grand jury on Nov. 9 and ordered to be held without bail by Supreme Court Justice Neil Firetog while the parties work out bail packages.
They each face up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted of the top charge.
The third suspect has not yet been arrested.
Defense attorney Gregory Watts said there were issues about the case he wanted to raise but will wait for more evidence to come in at Troutman’s next Feb. 2 court date.
Blackwell is slated to appear back in court on Dec. 5.
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