Man Who Fatally Torched 73-Year-Old Woman Sentenced to 50 Years to Life

Jerome Isaac murdered Deloris Gillespie in a Prospect Heights elevator in December, 2011.

DITMAS PARK, NY -- The man who covered an elderly woman with gasoline and then set her on fire while she was inside the elevator of a Prospect Heights building was sentenced Friday with 50 years to life in prison, District Attorney Charles Hynes announced. 

Jerome Isaac doused  and threw a Molotov cocktail into the elevator of her Underhill Avenue apartment building in December of 2011, all of which was caught on video on the elevator’s security camera. 

Isaac said that Gillespie owed him $2,100 for five months worth of cleaning work done in her apartment.

Isaac will not be eligible for parole for at least 50 years, when he is 98 years old, a spokeswoman for the DA's office said.

When the plea deal was announced in November, Gillespie's niece called the sentence a "profound disappointment."

Tracy Robinson said via e-mail the plea deal has renewed her anguish over the "blatant, cruel, and horrific" method of the murder, but added that as a "woman of faith,"she believes that "even this is in God's hands."

Shelia Hillsman, Gillespie's daughter, told the Daily News in October that she wished New York state had the death penalty, also would have liked to see a stiffer sentence so they could "do to him exactly what he did to my mother."


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Kenoshaguy January 13, 2013 at 09:30 PM
Someone should torch him. The going rate of a human life is only 50 years? Will he get parole?
raymond james January 14, 2013 at 12:21 AM
Yes he will. When he's 98.
exoticdoc2 January 14, 2013 at 03:42 AM
I agree that he should have gotten the death penalty, but at least his sentence amounts to life in prison. But it is unlikely he will escape the fire in the end, no lawyer can save him from that...
Marcheal Gideon January 14, 2013 at 04:28 AM
I thought America was civilized I guess not since people still want the death penalty.
exoticdoc2 January 14, 2013 at 05:27 AM
To expect justice for a heinous murder is not uncivilized. Quite the reverse, not serving justice is most uncivilized. While some side with evil/the criminal, others prefer to think of the victim(s).
Greymom January 14, 2013 at 05:33 AM
exoticdoc2.... I so totally agree with you. what kind of person is more concerned about the evil and not the victims. That is uncivilized !!
MichaelHitchens January 14, 2013 at 01:22 PM
The punishment should fit the crime.... Lock him up and pour gasoline on him and set him on fire...... but don't put the fire out till he's just a cinder.....
Maureen Kreider January 14, 2013 at 01:44 PM
He'll get his dose of fire when he burns in hell! Karma's a bitch!
CUSACITIZEN January 14, 2013 at 01:57 PM
I will DEMAND from my representatives to outlaw all types of flammable gasoline!!!
CUSACITIZEN January 14, 2013 at 02:04 PM
Thank God she was not your mother, or daughter, or wife, or sister. It would be interesting to know what kind of mush is inside your head with such a barbaric comment. What kind of person would think that such a despicable crime is not worthy of the death penalty?
CUSACITIZEN January 14, 2013 at 02:09 PM
You are right, however, so the pendulum swings way to the other side now. Before we know it there will actually be a reward for criminals, oh wait, we already reward them... free housing, meals, medical care, library, free school, TV, gym. We cannot even ask them to work for no pay while serving time, I guess that would not be fair.
Jimh753 January 14, 2013 at 05:43 PM
Trust me , in the end his anguish is going to be far worse than that poor unfortunate 73 year old woman's was, and last much longer. Karma is a bitch sometimes.
Marcheal Gideon January 15, 2013 at 05:23 AM
First people say justice to justify murder,well the bible believers,second if it was my family I would tell the court to have mercy on him.
Marcheal Gideon January 15, 2013 at 05:27 AM
CUSACITIZEN you talk about prison like it's a country club,how about you spend some time in a maximum security prison and see how you like it.Greymom you call me uncivilized I bet you did something stupid when you was his age.No one has a clean record.
Marcheal Gideon January 15, 2013 at 05:37 AM
This is a christian state not a sharia state.
exoticdoc2 January 15, 2013 at 05:37 AM
Gideon. Sad that you cannot discern the difference between murder and justice. For a change, try thinking of the victim that this monster burned to death. Biblically the death penalty is warranted, though it is difficult to figure out what you are getting at given the grammar. Recently in CA a man who had killed twice had his death sentence commuted, then he was released...and promptly killed his mother. One innocent life is worth far more than a thousand scum.
Marcheal Gideon January 15, 2013 at 05:37 AM
God forgives if the sinner repents.
exoticdoc2 January 15, 2013 at 05:42 AM
Gideon. Yes, we all do wrong things, but precious few murder and even fewer burn people alive in such horrific fashion over something as petty as money. This was not a "mistake," a term some people use to try and excuse such an action. This was EVIL. An especially heinous act for which he should be held accountable.
Marcheal Gideon January 15, 2013 at 06:01 AM
The bible should have nothing to do which this country only in church should it be considered,so don't come to me with this the bible says this and the bible says that crap.
Marcheal Gideon January 15, 2013 at 06:02 AM
God should have the decision to take life away and only him not mankind.
exoticdoc2 January 15, 2013 at 06:49 AM
Gideon. Honestly, correct your grammar, it is atrocious (that means bad). No one can separate their worldview/religion from the rest of their life, and it is naive to think it is possible. What use is God's Word if it is not put into practice? And again, in some of your posts you try and state what God would want, and in others you try to throw his Word out the window. Be consistent. Again, the death penalty for murder is biblical and holding people accountable is in no way unreasonable.
exoticdoc2 January 15, 2013 at 06:54 AM
Gideon. God has given us rules to live by and expects us to govern ourselves within those guidelines. The death penalty is a biblical concept, and if any deserve it then this guy does. Again, your arguments are inconsistent. Murder is wrong, the law executing a murderer is not. Try thinking of the victim instead of the scumbag for a change.


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