MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – Lloyd “Blue” Lewis, the Mount Vernon man implicated in the death of beloved South Sixth Street resident Emma Gruber, was arraigned on Wednesday, July 30, on a 17-count indictment that includes first-degree murder.
According to Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore, Lewis, 32, faces life in prison after he allegedly murdered his neighbor, 85, when she walked in on him burglarizing his home on Feb. 10.
Lewis has been charged with a felony count of first-degree murder, third-degree burglary and two counts each of second-degree murder and second-degree burglary. He also faces five misdemeanor counts of petty larceny and criminal possession of stolen property, as well as a count of criminal possession of a controlled substance.
On Monday, Feb. 10, Gruber spent the day at the Dole Senior Center, getting dropped off at her home by the city Senior Center bus at 2 p.m., the last time she was seen alive. Two days later she was found at the bottom of her basement stairs, under a large piece of plywood and a mound of clothes.
A two-by-four located adjacent to Gruber’s body contained a sample of her blood.
According to DiFiore, Lewis proceeded to steal copper pipes and a water meter, which led to a small flood in the basement. A flat-screen television was also taken from the home.
Following an investigation, Gruber’s death was ruled a homicide by blunt force trauma of the body due to internal hemorrhaging and a contusion to the brain. During the investigation, officials determined that their suspect sold several pieces of jewelry from the burglary at a pawnshop, and the water meter, pipes, cords and a brass pitcher and elephant statue were fenced at a scrap yard.
On March 3, Lewis was arrested on a separate burglary charge, after he was accused of robbing a different neighbor’s detached apartment on South Seventh Street. Lewis was stopped and subsequently arrested at the intersection of South Seventh Avenue and West Fifth Street after a neighbor saw him carrying a red suitcase out of the home with the stolen goods.
The investigation into the burglary -- which was conducted a block behind and several houses over from Lewis’ residence -- eventually led the police to look at Lewis for Gruber’s death. Each of the incidents occurred on the 300 block on the south side of Mount Vernon.
Lewis is due back in court on Wednesday, Oct. 29. Assistant District Attorneys Christine O’Connor and Jean Prisco of the Superior Court Trial Division are prosecuting the case.