The Brooklyn man who allegedly confessed to cops that he killed a 73-year-old woman by setting her on fire in a Prospect Heights elevator has been formally charged with murder. Jerome Isaac was indicted today on a charge of first-degree murder in the death of Deloris Gillespie, the woman who he allegedly killed over a money dispute.
The incident occurred on Saturday around 4:15 p.m. in Gillespie's apartment building at 203 Underhill Ave. in Prospect Heights. Gillespie had just returned from grocery shopping when the elevator stopped on the fifth floor—the attacker, who was dressed as an exterminator, doused her from head to toe with an accelerant as she cowered in the corner clutching her groceries. The attacker then set a Molotov cocktail on fire, and used the wick to set her ablaze; he then lobbed the Molotov cocktail inside the elevator. The whole scene was captured on two surveillance tape cameras in the elevator. Gillespie was pronounced dead at the scene, while five other tenants suffered minor injuries.
It's believed that Isaac was upset that Gillespie had not paid him for various odd jobs he performed for her. Gillespie’s nephew, Rickey Causey, had said Isaac worked for Gillespie, who was known as a bit of a hoarder, but was fired after being caught stealing from her. At his arraignment earlier in the week, Isaac's lawyer requested solitary confinement and medical attention for his client, but did not ask for bail.
Meanwhile, neighbors, friends and family held a vigil for Gillespie this week. Her funeral is planned for after Christmas, according to City Council member Letitia James.