Tag Archives: Jerry Antoniello

Alleged mastermind behind fatal push-in robbery sentenced


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

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It took nearly three years, but the Antoniello family will finally have “justice for Jerry.”

Francis LaCorte — the convicted mastermind behind the 2009 Ozone Park home invasion in which 29-year-old Jerry Antoniello was shot and killed protecting his family — was sentenced to 50 years to life in prison last week.

LaCorte, 30, had been found guilty in May for the second-degree murder of Antoniello, after LaCorte and another assailant, Vincent Mineo, broke into the Antoniello home in September 2009. The push-in robbery saw father Bartolomeo “Romeo” Antoniello struck in the head and Gerardo, or Jerry, fatally shot in the head.

The coordinator behind the crime had a three-week trial in which he was also found guilty of first-degree attempted robbery, first-degree attempted burglary, first-degree burglary, first-degree robbery and fourth-degree conspiracy.

The District Attorney’s office released a statement in response to the sentencing, noting that this was one of three robberies during that time LaCorte and Mineo had carried out.

“This was a particularly brutal murder in which a son was gunned down in his own home as he bravely came to the aid of his father who was being robbed,” said District Attorney Richard A. Brown. “At trial, the defendant was found guilty of not just murdering the young man, but of having orchestrated, planned and carried out other home robberies at gunpoint. Under the circumstances, the lengthy sentence imposed is more than warranted so as to punish the defendant and to protect society.”

Angelo Antoniello, Gerardo’s brother, said the entire family was happy LaCorte had finally been sentenced.

“We’re very satisfied that happened,” he said. “We’re glad he got 50 years and hopefully he’ll never win an appeal.”

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.”

A Brother’s letter: Antoniello family still reeling


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

Angelo Antoniello refers to the man convicted of killing his brother as “criminal.”

Other times, he just calls him “garbage.”

On Tuesday, March 20, Vincent Mineo pleaded guilty to first-degree burglary and was sentenced to 20 years in prison, according to the district attorney.

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, one now known to be Vincent Mineo and the other allegedly 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. Jerry attempted to defend his family when he was hit in the head with a single gunshot. He was taken to Jamaica Hospital in critical condition, where he died early Thursday morning, September 10.

During Mineo’s trial, Angelo said he showed no remorse, comparing his courthouse demeanor to that of “Charles Manson.”

Attempts to reach Mineo’s lawyer were unsuccessful.

The second alleged perpetrator, Francis LaCorte, sits on trial currently. Angelo claims, at the suspect’s request, he and his mother Gaetana are banned from attending.

Two years later, Angelo says thinking about his brother’s tragic death still saddens and angers him. Angelo, who says he is “not one to express my feelings,” wrote the following to Mineo as part of his victim impact statement:

“I feel you got off easy with a 20 year sentence – 20 minutes locked up in a room with me would have brought a better outcome. The past two-and-a-half years have been a living hell, seeing my mother cry every day and not knowing how to console her. The night of September 9, 2009 has been playing over and over in my head and has put a strain on my personal and family life. It has made me cautious of anyone I encounter. You and your degenerate friends have put my family through so much pain taking our son, brother, uncle and friend from us. My daughters never had the chance to meet their uncle Jerry and I dread the day I have to tell them what happened to him. All my memories of my brother Jerry have been marred by the senseless act of violence you and your lowlife friends committed that night.

Just imagine for a minute losing someone so important and close in your life, let alone being murdered, shot in the back of the head. For the past two-and-a-half years I’ve had this hatred built up inside of me for anyone who is involved. I feel absolutely no sympathy for you, your family, or anyone who has shown up crying and supporting a guilty man. NO innocent man would easily accept a 20-year plea.

Just seeing you before me kills me and makes me crazy knowing that you’re responsible for the death of my youngest brother. Jerry was an honest, loyal and hardworking man. He never had to steal to earn his living and he died trying to protect the people that mattered most to him – his family.

Is it fair that Jerry didn’t get to live his life and you get to make phone calls and stay in touch with your family and friends? Is that justice?”