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

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Appeals court denies DNA testing sought by Bonanno killer Thomas "Tommy Karate" Pitera

An imprisoned mob killer's bid for DNA testing of guns and other evidence was shot down today by a Manhattan appeals court.
Thomas "Tommy Karate" Pitera claimed in court papers that the proposed tests could clear him of three murders and pin the blame on turncoat accomplice Frank Gangi.
But the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that even if genetic material from Gangi and the victims was found on the items, it wouldn't prove Pitera's innocence.
The 11-page decision says Gangi "candidly acknowledged at trial that he was a direct participant in many of the gruesome murders charged in the indictment," but also "explained...that he had committed these crimes with Pitera."
Thomas Pitera
The three-judge panel also noted that other evidence against Pitera, a reputed Bonanno crime-family captain, included victims' jewelry found in his home and wiretaps that caught him discussing how to dismember and dispose of murder victims.
Pitera, 57, is serving life in the slammer for six slayings, although he's suspected of having committed as many as 60.
His 1992 trial marked the first case brought in New York under a federal law that permits the death penalty for drug-related killings, but a Brooklyn federal jury spared him from execution.
Defense lawyer Roger Bennet Adler didn't immediately return a request for comment.


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