Fugitive extradited from Guyana in precedent-setting case

Justice Kenneth Holder will preside over the case of Troy Thomas, who was charged with second-degree murder and extradited from Guyana on Wednesday.  Eagle  file photo.

Justice Kenneth Holder will preside over the case of Troy Thomas, who was charged with second-degree murder and extradited from Guyana on Wednesday. Eagle file photo.

By Victoria Merlino

After a year of coordination between the governments of Guyana and the United States, a suspect in a 2011 South Richmond Hill slaying has been extradited to face murder charges in Queens.

Troy Thomas, 33, was forced to return to Queens from his native Guyana on Wednesday for allegedly shooting 20-year-old Frank Keith in the torso and killing him on Dec. 11, 2011. The shooting occurred at a party in South Richmond Hill, QNS reported at the time.

“You wouldn’t believe how stupid it is. It’s just about dancing and girls,” his mother told QNS in early 2012 about the alleged reason for the shooting.

Guyana Police Force officers apprehended Thomas in 2018, and he has been in prison since that time. He just exhausted his last appeal this week.

The case sets a new precedent for U.S. extradition cases in the South American nation of Guyana, the U.S. embassy to Guyana said.

“The Government of Guyana’s actions over the past year clearly indicate its dedication to law and order and established norms of international criminal justice — 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,” Ambassador Sarah-Ann Lynch said in a statement.

Thomas was arraigned in Queens Supreme Court before Justice Kenneth Holder.

“The defendant has been on the run for seven years, but today he is in our custody and will answer for the senseless killing of a 20-year-old man in South Richmond Hill,” said Queens Chief ADA John Ryan in a statement. “The family of the victim deserves justice for their deceased loved one.”