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

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tears flow from Queens mom whose son was murdered during a home invasion

The anguished mom of a school custodian gunned down in his Queens broke down in tears Tuesday as she recalled trying to help her dying son in 2009.
Gaetana Antoniello, 60, told jurors at the murder trial of Gambino associate Francis LaCorte how she gathered up towels to slow the bleeding from a gaping hole in the back of her son’s head.
Clad in black, she steadied herself on the arm of a court officer as she was led into Queens Supreme Court Justice Richard Buchter’s courtroom.
“The blood was too much,” Gaetana Antoniello told jurors, putting her hand to her mouth in a failed effort to stop the tears. “It was running like water. “I picked up some towels but it was too much.”
Gerardo Antoniello, 29, was slain defending his father, Bartolomeo, from thieves hand picked by La Corte to carry out a series of home invasion robberies in Ozone Park during the summer and fall of 2009, Queens prosecutors say.
Prosecutors say LaCorte, 29, recruited a team of ex-cons from across the city to break into Bartolomeo Antoniello’s home so they could steal the cash proceeds from Romeo’s, the Ozone Park pizzeria he had run for 20 years.
Bartolomeo Antoniello, 61, was pistol whipped trying to fend off his attackers. He died months later after a lengthy illness.
Prosecutor Brad Leventhal told jurors a book-length stream of damning text messages between LaCorte and the robbers link him to the killing.
“It reads like a crime novel,” Leventhal told jurors during opening statements. “A conspiracy will unfold right in front of you.”
Gerardo (Jerry) Antoniello, a custodial engineer for the city schools, had contracted to buy a condo on Sept. 9, 2009 — the day he was killed.
Prosecutors say LaCorte ran a phone store on Cross Bay Boulevard, across the street from Romeo’s and spied on Bartolomeo Antoniello’s comings and goings.
Also Tuesday, LaCorte’s accomplice, Vincent Mineo, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for masterminding the home invasion robberies that led to Antoniello’s slaying.
“You have no right to breathe,” said Antoniello’s older brother, Carmine, an NYPD officer. “I hope you rot in prison, you savage.”
Mineo looked away and refused to speak on his own behalf.
Queens Supreme Court Justice Richard Buchter compared Mineo to Charles Manson, who recruited a gang of weak-minded underlings to carry out his sadistic wishes.
“He’s a coward,” Buchter said. “He’s responsible for the blood on his hands.”


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