A Jamaica man was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for gunning down a man at a South Richmond Hill house party more than a decade ago, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.
Troy Thomas, 37, formerly of 156th Street, was convicted of murder in the second degree in May following a jury trial before Queens Supreme Court Justice Michael Yavinsky.
According to trial testimony, Thomas became involved in a petty dispute with 20-year-old Keith Frank, who had moved to Queens from Guyana at the age of 12, during a birthday party in December 2011. The victim, who had just become a father to his daughter Keyanna eight months earlier, was shot in the torso at about 4:44 a.m. outside of a home on 132nd Street near 109th Avenue.
EMS responded to the scene and rushed the victim to NewYork-Presbyterian Queens Hospital, where he died of a single gunshot exactly two months before his 21st birthday. Thomas immediately fled Queens but was found living in Guyana by NYPD detectives nearly eight years later. He fought extradition but was eventually returned to Queens to face the murder charge.
“Despite being on the run for eight years, the defendant has now been held to account for committing this senseless murder,” Katz said. “The family and loved ones of the victim, who had just become a father at the time of his death, were denied justice for more than a decade. Today, I hope they can finally put this sad chapter to rest knowing that the defendant will spend a lengthy jail term in prison for his criminal actions.”
Justice Yavinsky on Aug. 5 sentenced Thomas to a term of 25 years to life in prison.