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Fugitive extradited from Guyana for 2011 murder in Queens

After an international legal battle, a New York City man was finally extradited and brought to court, officials said.

Troy Thomas appeared Thursday before a Queens Criminal

Troy Thomas appeared Thursday before a Queens Criminal Court judge and was ordered held without bail, with a new court date for June 13, said Rudolph. Photo Credit: Theodore Parisienne

A 33-year-old New York City man who fled to Guyana after he was sought by police for a homicide committed seven years ago was finally extradited and brought to court Thursday, following an international legal battle, officials said.

Troy Thomas, formerly of Queens, was the prime suspect in the Dec. 11, 2011, murder of 20-year-old Frank Keith, who had become a father just eight months before he was shot and killed on 132nd Street at a house party in Ozone Park, said police.

Right after the shooting, Thomas fled to Canada by car and then, using a relative’s passport, took a plane to Guyana, which is believed to have been his country of origin, Lt. Richard Rudolph, of Queens South homicide, said in a briefing with reporters Thursday.

Rudolph said that while police were able in a couple of days after the killing to zero in on Thomas as the suspect, the investigation came to a halt because of the lack of an extradition treaty with Guyana.

Then, in the spring of 2016, Det. Chris Alden of the 106th Precinct recalled hearing that Guyana had entered into an extradition treaty with the United States, and officials with the Queens district attorney's office started legal  proceedings with the U.S. Department of State to extradite Thomas, said Rudolph.

Thomas had already been indicted in Queens for second-degree murder, and an arrest warrant had been prepared so that, in March 2018, police in Guyana were able to locate and arrest Thomas. Under legal procedures in Guyana, Thomas filed various appeals to fight extradition, but ultimately lost that battle.

Thomas appeared Thursday before a Queens Criminal Court judge and was ordered held without bail, with a new court date for June 13, said Rudolph.

“This defendant has been on the run for seven years and is in our custody and will answer for the senseless killing,” said chief Queens Assistant District Attorney John M. Ryan in a statement. Thomas’s defense attorney couldn’t be reached for comment.

Rudolph said that Thomas, who had been employed years ago in a barbershop, made no statement to police when he was brought back to Queens and placed in a holding cell in the 106th Precinct.

“We gave him some food, and he went right to sleep,” said Rudolph.

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