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

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Man gets 27 years for fatal shooting outside Hackensack apartment building

A parolee who gunned down the son of an alleged mobster outside a Hackensack apartment building four years ago was sentenced to 27 years in prison on Tuesday.
“I would have put you away forever,” Superior Court Judge Liliana DeAvila-Silebi told Roosevelt Withers in a Hackensack courtroom. “If there was an exception in the law that said violent people who are an extreme danger to society should not be allowed to be part of society, that is what I’d do.”
Withers, 46, of Manhattan, accepted a prison sentence of no more than 27 years in exchange for pleading guilty to an aggravated manslaughter charge in 2009.
He admitting fatally shooting Frank DeSimone Jr. at close range outside an Overlook Avenue apartment building two days after Christmas in 2007.
When officers responded, they found DeSimone, 41, of Hackensack, slumped over the wheel of his Cadillac Escalade with gunshot wounds to his head and neck, police said.
Withers sped away in a white Nissan Altima, but crashed in heavy traffic at the George Washington Bridge. He then ran toward the tolls and grabbed at vehicle door handles, presumably in an effort to get into another car, witnesses said.
With guns drawn, nearly a dozen Fort Lee police officers closed in on Withers and arrested him steps away from the toll plaza.
It was never revealed in court why Withers shot DeSimone. A law enforcement official told The Record in 2007 that DeSimone’s father is a made member of the Lucchese crime family, and that another relative was a notorious hit man for the same clan.
But investigators never identified DeSimone as an organized crime figure. The killing, they said, did not appear to have a Mafia connection.
Authorities said Withers, a convicted drug dealer, had recently purchased an SUV from DeSimone, who worked at a used car lot in Little Ferry.
Andrew Blair, a Clifton attorney who said he had represented DeSimone for many years, said his client had been estranged from his father when the murder occurred.
As for Withers, “I think he was acting on behalf of someone else,” Blair said.
DeSimone’s brother-in-law, Sam Vaccaro of Little Ferry, told DeAvila-Silebi that DeSimone had his faults, but did not deserve to die.
“You could have confronted him face to face, man to man,” Vaccaro told Withers.
Withers, wearing an orange jumpsuit and dark-rimmed glasses, his head shaven, was stone-faced until it came time for him to speak.
He then wept, said he was a coward and told six members of the DeSimone family – all huddled on the same bench – that he was sorry.
“You’re humiliating me,” Withers said, a tear streaming down his right cheek. “Do you see this? I’m glad you get to see this.”
DeAvila-Silebi also sentenced Yulander Green to five years in prison for withholding from the police the location of a vehicle that Withers owned. Green, 43, pleaded guilty in 2009 to hindering an investigation in exchange for a sentence of three to five years.
Green and Withers are childhood friends, the prosecutor said.



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