New York

Woman Thought to Be Mastermind of Deadly Home Invasion Arrested: Sources

The couple was tied up and pillowcases were placed over their heads, police said

What to Know

  • Suzette Troutman was arrested on murder charges in the Bedford-Stuyvesant break-in that left a 91-year-old dead.
  • Authorities said that Troutman ran errands for Waldiman and Ethlin Thompson and bought them a lock box that was later stolen.
  • Waldiman Thompson died in the Oct. 11 break in; Ethlin was able to escape and called 911.

A woman thought to be the mastermind behind the violent home invasion that left a 91-year-old Brooklyn man dead and his 100-year-old wife running for her life has been arrested, authorities said. 

Forty-five-year-old Suzette Troutman was arrested Monday in the break-in at Waldiman and Ethlin Brumley Thompson's home in Bedford-Stuyvesant on Oct. 11, according to law enforcement sources. Waldiman Thompson suffered a fatal heart attack after burglars tied him and his wife up and put pillowcases over their heads; Ethlin Brumley Thompson as able to break free and call 911. 

Sources told News 4 that Troutman is thought to be the mastermind behind the deadly break-in. Police said she knew the couple and may have been getting paid to get their groceries and do other errands.

Sources added that she even bought them the lock box that was stolen from the home and later seen being carried by another suspect. Family members told News 4 the couple might have used the lock box to keep rent money collected from the other floors of the brownstone they owned and lived in. 

Dwayne Blackwood was arrested last week in the case. Both he and Troutman face murder, assault and burglary charges. Authorities said they were also looking for a third suspect who was spotted in surveillance footage carrying the lock box.

Authorities said two masked suspects broke into the home of Thompson and his wife Ethlin Brumley Thompson, pulled pillowcases over their heads and tied them up, police said. The men then threatened to kill Ethlin if she wasn't quiet, according to court documents. 

Ethlin Thompson was able to break free, escape and call 911 but when police arrived they found Waldiman Thompson unresponsive on the floor with a cord and sheet over his head, court documents say. He was pronounced dead after he arrived at Interfaith Medical Center.

Ethlin Thompson was taken to the same hospital for injuries to her legs and for observation. A funeral for her husband was held last week. 

Attorney information for Troutman or Blackwood wasn't immediately available. Neither commented to reporters who asked questions as they walked out of NYPD station houses. 

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