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Buried Him In Their Dispute

R’wood Murder Suspect Has Troubled History

The Ridgewood man charged last week with killing his mother’s boyfriend and burying him in the backyard of their residence previously admitted to charges that he sexually abused a young girl, law enforcement sources stated.

Derek Tudor, 27, was arrested last Wednesday, May 1 by Det. Steven Lundy of the 104th Precinct Detective Squad for the death of Frank Soucie, 60, who was found by police a day earlier buried in a shallow backyard grave at the Putnam Avenue home they shared. Tudor was arraigned last Thursday, May 2, in Queens Criminal Court on a seconddegree murder charge.

According to information provided by the Queens District Attorney’s office, Tudor had previously entered a conditional guilty plea in November 2010 to a felony charge of attempting to sexually abuse a young girl. Court records noted he was reby leased on his own recognizance on Mar. 25 while continuing his participation in a sex offender program which, had he completed, would have reduced his sentence.

Regarding the Soucie case, Tudor pled not guilty during his arraignment hearing last Thursday before Judge Toko Serita, who ordered him held without bail and to return to court on May 15. Tudor faces up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

“His alleged actions have caused a great deal of pain to the victim’s friends and family and showed little regard for human life,” Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said in a statement last Thursday.

As reported in last week’s Times Newsweekly, Soucie-a retired postal worker and the brother of the late Democratic District Leader Martin Soucie-was reported missing by relatives on Apr. 22.

Based on information obtained by police during their investigation, it is alleged that Tudor suffocated Frank Soucie during an apparent dispute in the vicinity of their home on Putnam Avenue near Woodward Avenue at some point between Apr. 21 and Apr. 28. Soucie reportedly shared the apartment with his 54-year-old girlfriend, Tudor’s mother.

Soucie’s girlfriend and family members reported his disappearance to police on Apr. 22. Eight days would pass before clues surfaced regarding the victim’s whereabouts.

Members of the 104th Precinct were called to the Putnam Avenue location at around 11:30 a.m. last Tuesday morning, Apr. 30, after neighbors reported seeing a suspicious individual dumping a garbage bag.

Police reportedly recovered the item, a laundry bag which smelled of smoke and contained a sleeping bag which had been partially burned. Law enforcement sources stated the area was sealed off and a search for additional evidence was launched.

While on the roof, authorities said, officers located a large plastic bin on the roof of an adjacent attached building, as well as blood. Additionally, a bottle of ammonia and a knotted electrical cord were found by police.

Prosecutors said a search warrant was then obtained to examine the backyard, where police found a fresh mound of dirt and drag marks leading to the rear of the dwelling.

At around 7 p.m. last Tuesday, it was reported, officers found the remains of Soucie wrapped in cloth beneath the mound of dirt in a shallow grave. His body was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for an autopsy which concluded that Soucie died of “homicidal asphyxiation,” law enforcement sources stated.

Escorted by his biological father, it was reported, Tudor turned himself into police last Wednesday and, following questioning, was taken into custody by the 104th Precinct Detective

Squad.

Court records noted Tudor was originally arrested in July 2010 on sexual abuse charges for attempting to grope the genitalia of an underage girl. The following November, he conditionally pled guilty to first-degree attempted sexual abuse, a felony, and misdemeanor second-degree sexual abuse.

Had he completed the sex offender reform program, according to information from the Queens District Attorney’s office, the felony charge against Tudor would have been dropped, and he would have been ordered to serve probation and register as a sex offender. Additionally, an order of protection would have been issued forbidding him from any contact with the victim.

Tudor is scheduled to appear in court on May 28 for a compliance hearing related to the sexual abuse case.

The murder case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Carla L. Cheung of the DA’s Homicide Investigations Bureau, which is supervised by Assistant District Attorneys Peter T. Reese, bureau chief, and Peter J. McCormack, deputy bureau chief.

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