The suspected mastermind behind a horrific home invasion that caused the death of a 91-year-old man was indicted in Brooklyn Supreme Court Friday for plotting the robbery with two others.
Suzette Troutman, 45, hatched the idea for the botched burglary that terrorized Ethlin and Waldiman Thompson inside their Bedford-Stuyvesant home, authorities said.
Troutman, a former aide who cooked and cleaned for the elderly couple — and called the 100-year-old Ethlin “Aunt Ruth” — conspired with her nephew Dwayne Blackwood and another man named Howard Morris to break into the Thompson’s Decatur St. house, authorities said.
“She still can’t believe (Troutman) planned something like this,” said Ethlin Thompson’s youngest brother, who declined to give his name.
“My sister always treated her really well, always gave her money.”
Dwayne Blackwood (lt.), 27, conspired with his aunt and another man in the home invasion.
(Theodore Parisienne/Theodore Parisienne)
Troutman admitted to detectives that she was with Ethlin Thompson on the day of the home invasion.
“Troutman stated that she last saw ‘Aunt Ruth’ on the day of the incident when she went over to the house to take her to purchase an antenna. Aunt Ruth refused to go because she was not feeling well,” Troutman said to detectives, according to court documents.
The ex-aide also told detectives she spoke to Blackwood about five times that day because he had a job interview, according to her statements to police.
“We allege that she callously set them up to be robbed by her nephew and his accomplice,” said Acting District Attorney Eric Gonzalez.
Waldiman Thompson (rt.) with his wife Ethlin Thompson. The Thompsons were victims of a home invasion Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn on Oct. 11, 2017.
(Obtained by NY Daily News)
If convicted, Troutman and her nephew both face 25 years to life in prison.
Police are still hunting for the third accomplice, Morris.
Troutman allegedly waited outside the couple’s brownstone in a car on Oct. 11 as Blackwood and the other man tied up them up and threatened to kill Ethlin Thompson.
After the men got into Troutman’s getaway car with about $ 5,000, the centenarian was able to escape and get help as her husband laid on the floor with a cord and sheet over his head, prosecutors said.
The Thompsons’ home on 160 Decatur St. in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
Waldiman Thompson died later that day.
Two days prior to the break-in, Troutman was chosen to be Juror No. 5 for a personal injury case in Brooklyn Civil Supreme Court.
But by the time the civil trial got its start on Oct. 13, Troutman was on the run from the law.
“We waited almost two hours for the juror to show up. We (later) found out she was arrested for this horrific murder,” said Ilya Novofastovsky, who represents the victim of the personal injury case.
“Never have you ever seen someone who willingly comes to serve their civil duty and then get arrested for murder,” said Novofastovsky.
With Kerry Burke