They were well-dressed when they knocked on the door of a Huntington home last month and said they had information about President Barack Obama's health care plan.
That's how they got inside to commit a violent home invasion on Aug. 29, a Suffolk prosecutor said Monday.
Benjamin Thompson had a stethoscope around his neck and Natalie Desir carried a clipboard with pamphlets, Assistant District Attorney Glenn Kurtzrock said after their arraignments in Riverhead.
A woman who lives at the house answered the door and said she would take one of the pamphlets. That's when Thompson, 31, of Brooklyn and Desir, 26, of Nyack forced their way inside, Kurtzrock said.
He gave the following account:
Another man, Vance Jackson, had been hiding outside and also forced his way into the home. Jackson, 46, of Yonkers took the woman's boyfriend upstairs and shot him in the neck, chased him downstairs and shot him several more times.
Thompson shot the female resident in the foot while she was sitting next to her 2-year-old daughter and also pistol-whipped the woman's mother, injuring her head.
The three fled with about $4,000 in cash in a getaway car driven by Theodore Briggs, 40, of the Bronx. A fifth suspect who was outside is still at large.
Jackson, Thompson, Briggs and Desir pleaded not guilty Monday to robbery and assault charges.
Thompson, whose previous convictions include attempted robbery and rape, and Jackson, whose convictions include robbery and criminal possession of a weapon, met in prison, Kurtzrock said.
He said the two hatched the home invasion plan while waiting to meet with their parole officers in the Bronx.
Because of their previous convictions, they face potential life sentences, Kurtzrock said.
All of the money was later found in Jackson's and Thompson's pockets, he said.