New York Judge sentences Guyanese man to 25-years-to-life in prison for 2011 murder

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Murdered: Keith Frank (left) Jailed: Troy Thomas (right)

A Guyanese man, who was found guilty of murder by a New York, United States of America (USA) court in May, was on Friday sentenced to 25-years-to-life in prison. 

Troy Thomas, 37, of 156th Street in Jamaica, Queens, New York, was convicted after trial of murder in the second-degree Queens Supreme Court Judge Michael Yavinsky. 

He was found guilty of the December 11, 2011 murder of 20-year-old Keith Frank, a Guyanese, who was shot and killed outside a house party at Richmond Hill, New York, USA. 

Thomas and Frank attended a house party in South Richmond Hill and became involved in a petty dispute. As a result, Thomas fired a weapon, striking Frank once in the chest. 

Frank, who had just become a father prior to the shooting was rushed to the hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. Thomas immediately fled New York, but was found living in Guyana. 

In April 2019, Thomas was extradited to the USA from Guyana where he had been hiding out for some seven years. He was nabbed in Guyana in March 2018 while staying with a popular make-up artist. He was eventually sent back to the USA to face charges after exhausting all his rights to appeal his extradition under the Guyana Constitution. 

Commenting on Thomas’s extradition, the US Embassy in Georgetown had said: “Corruption and criminal activity rob the Government and citizens of Guyana of money that could have been spent on education, health care, and important infrastructure work. Extraditions are an important law enforcement tool in fighting transnational criminal organizations…A fugitive from justice is being extradited to the United States to stand trial, creating a new precedent.” 

US Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah-Ann Lynch had said that Guyana’s actions over the past year clearly indicate its dedication to law and order and established norms of international criminal justice. To this end, she had noted that Guyana is moving in the right direction. “Establishing a roadmap for future extraditions, bringing a fugitive to justice, making Guyana a safer place for Guyanese citizens – this is the best example of rule of law existing in Guyana,” she had noted.

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