Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Lucchese Capo Son Silent As He's Freed, Family Recalls Horror of 1994 SLaying

              Lucchese Boss Vittorio " LittleVic" Amuso and Turncoat Underboss Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso

Anthony DiSimone continually tapped his foot in court today as the mother of the man he stabbed to death nearly 17 years ago called him a "depraved sociopath" and a "cowardly assassin."
He stared straight ahead as the father and brother of his victim, Louis Balancio, talked about their feelings of emptiness and sadness since DiSimone's fatal attack during a Yonkers street brawl.
And when a state judge asked DiSimone if he wanted to make a statement before he was sentenced, he shook his head no. He left the courthouse and got into a waiting car. As he drove off, his victim's family exchanged hugs and wiped away tears.
DiSimone, the 43-year-old son of a reputed capo in the Lucchese crime family, will serve no more prison time for causing the death of 21-year-old Louis Balancio on Feb. 4, 1994. He struck a deal with Westchester County prosecutors in which he pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter for a sentence of 3 1/2 to 10 1/2 years — a prison term covered by the seven years he served before his conviction was vacated in 2007.
The deal means DiSimone is automatically released to parole because he already served more than two-thirds of the sentence.
The victim's impact statements given by Dorothy Balancio, her husband, Jeff Balancio, and their 31-year-old son, Jeffrey Balancio, while different in tone, spoke to the senseless killing that stole the joy from their family and has haunted them for two decades.
Dorothy Balancio raged at DiSimone, describing how he "savagely and brutally" murdered her oldest son — whom he had never met before that night — stabbing him 13 times and leaving him to die alone in the street. She said DiSimone's knife pierced her son's heart and severed his spine, leaving his body so mutilated that it led the funeral director to declare it the worst he'd ever seen.
Fighting back tears, she also shared her disgust at DiSimone's apparent lack of emotion during his trial and at today's sentencing.
"He walks with an arrogant swagger," she said. "In my opinion, he's criminally insane."
When he pleaded guilty in September DiSimone admitted he recklessly caused Balancio's death during the brawl involving members of the Tanglewood Boys — of which DiSimone was reputed to be a member — and the Hell's Kitchen Boys, as well as an Albanian gang and other youths.

Balancio was not a member of any gang. He was a college student studying to be an accountant.
Jeffrey Balancio was 14 when his brother was killed. In court, he spoke of the emptiness of growing up without his brother and how he became an adult overnight when he accompanied his father to the morgue to identify his brother's body.
"I lost my teacher, my best friend," he said. "I lost my ability to trust anybody."
Every holiday and birthday has been marred by his brother's murder, he said. After never seeing his parents cry, he now can't ever remember them smiling.
"I didn't need a Shakespeare play to teach me about tragedy," he said.
Jeff Balancio, a former Yonkers city councilman, shared his sadness over losing his oldest son. Being his father was a "privilege" that included playing touch football games on Louis' birthday, volunteering in the church where Louis was an altar boy and having his help when he ran for office.
"How do you describe losing part of who you are?" he asked.
He choked up when he recalled the last time he saw his son. As Louis left the house with a friend, he kissed his dad on the cheek.
"His friend said, 'You kiss your father?' He said, 'Yeah. All the time. I love him.'"
Five hours later, two Yonkers police officers arrived and told him his son was dead. At the morgue, he said, "the anguish was unbearable."
After the brawl outside the Strike Zone bar, DiSimone fled the country for years. He returned in 1999 and was convicted a year later of depraved-indifference murder but acquitted of intentional murder.
DiSimone was serving a term of 25 years to life when a federal judge threw out the conviction. Under former District Attorney Jeanine Pirro, prosecutors had withheld evidence that pointed to the possibility that another man killed Balancio.
Meanwhile, state law changed regarding depraved-indifference murder. It is now nearly impossible to convict someone of depraved-indifference murder in a one-on-one confrontation.
DiSimone, who had been free on $500,000 bail, came to court today with his wife, Ann, and several supporters. He now must report to the state Department of Correctional Services, which will monitor him for the next three years.
Murray Richman, DiSimone's lawyer, said that despite the Balancios' opinion, his client felt "great sadness" for what happened and said there was nothing DiSimone could say to lessen the family's pain.



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