Family lauds ‘Justice for Jerry’


| aaltman@queenscourier.com |

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Another suspect in the tragic murder of beloved Ozone Park son Gerardo “Jerry” Antoniello has been found guilty.

Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown announced on Monday, April 2 that Francis LaCorte has been found guilty of second-degree murder, first-degree attempted robbery, first-degree attempted burglary, first-degree burglary, first-degree robbery and fourth-degree conspiracy in conjunction with the 2009 murder of 29-year-old Antoniello.

“The defendant in this case has been found guilty following a jury trial of having orchestrated, planned and carried out three separate home robberies, one of which culminated in the untimely death of a young man who bravely went to the aid of his father during one of the robberies,” said Brown. “Under the circumstances, the defendant has forfeited his future and can expect to spend most, if not all, of the rest of his life behind bars.”

Three other individuals were previously arrested in connection with this case, including Vincent Mineo, who was sentenced on March 20 to 20 years for first-degree burglary.

Gerardo “Jerry” Antoniello was killed on Wednesday, September 9, 2009, during a push-in robbery at his family’s home on 95th Street and North Conduit Avenue in Ozone Park. Two men, now known to be Vincent Mineo and Francis LaCorte, attempted to gain entry to the Antoniello home as well as take cash from Romeo Antoniello, who had just finished closing the family’s pizzeria, Romeo’s, on Cross Bay Boulevard.

The perpetrators hit Romeo, who was suffering from cancer, in the head, before pushing their way into the residence. Gerardo was attempting to defend his family when he was struck in the head with a single gunshot. He was taken to Jamaica Hospital in critical condition, where he died early Thursday morning, September 10.

“I’m happy that the jury made the right decision,” said Jerry’s brother, Carmine Antoniello. “Hopefully he’s put away for a long time.”

LaCorte faces 75 years to life in prison when he is sentenced on April 16.

“It doesn’t bring Jerry back but hopefully they put him away for a long time so he doesn’t hurt anyone else,” said Carmine. “It’s one less piece of garbage on the street.”