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

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Federal jury convicts Gambino consigliere on 32 year old double murder

Justice is finally served as Gambino capo Bartolomeo "Bobby" Vernace is convicted in 1981 murders of Richard Godkin and John D’Agnese.

A Gambino capo who eluded justice for more than three decades in the murder of the hardworking owners of a Queens bar was convicted in the killings Wednesday by a federal jury.

Bartolomeo "Bobby" Vernace, 64, merely shrugged after the verdict. The widow and two daughters of victim Richard Godkin wept tears of joy.

“I am totally devoted to St. Theresa, and I said a novena to her this morning,” said Catherine Godkin, who attended every day of the five-week trial.

“I am so grateful to the jury, they got it right, 32 years and six days later,” Godkin added, referring to the April 11, 1981, date of the senseless killings.

A photo of Richard Godkin taken in January 1981, just months before he was killed.

Vernace beat a state murder rap in 1998 for killing Richard Godkin and John D’Agnese to avenge a drink accidentally spilled on the dress of Gambino mobster Frank Riccardi’s girlfriend in the Shamrock Bar on Jamaica Ave.

Riccardi was tried separately in state court and acquitted. He died in 2007. A state indictment against the third alleged gunman, Ronald "Ronnie the Jew" Barlin, was dismissed in 1981.

Those prosecutions were hindered by lack of cooperation from two key witnesses — Linda Gotti, the niece of the late Mafia boss John Gotti, and bartender Joseph Patrick Sullivan.

After the passage of three decades, both were finally ready to tell the truth, but only Sullivan took the stand, and his haunting testimony about his fear of the mob sealed Vernace’s fate.

Law enforcement sources said Vernace rejected a plea deal calling for only 12 years in prison. He reconsidered on the eve of the trial, but the deal was off the table.

“I never question a jury’s verdict,” said Vernace’s defense lawyer Charles Carnesi. “We’ll review the record and review all our options.”



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