New York man admits to killing woman in elevator blaze

Reuters News
Posted: Nov 07, 2012 4:18 PM
New York man admits to killing woman in elevator blaze

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A New York man has pleaded guilty to killing an elderly woman by setting her ablaze inside an elevator in a dispute over money, prosecutors said on Wednesday.

Jerome Isaac, 48, will face 50 years to life in prison when he is sentenced on November 30, the Brooklyn district attorney's office said in a statement. The charges include first-degree murder and second-degree arson.

Isaac doused his victim, Deloris Gillespie, 73, with gasoline inside the elevator of her Brooklyn apartment building on December 17, the statement said.

As she tried to leave the elevator, he set her on fire, sprayed her with an accelerant and then threw a Molotov cocktail into the elevator, prosecutors said.

The incident was caught on surveillance video. Gillespie was pronounced dead at the scene.

After the attack, Isaac went to his brother's apartment and set the door on fire, the statement said. No one was injured in the second fire.

Isaac was arrested the next day. He told prosecutors he was angry at Gillespie because she owed him money.

A lawyer for Isaac was not immediately available for comment.

(Reporting by Jessica Dye; editing by Christopher Wilson)