Thursday, February 8, 2007

Mafia killing conviction could be overturned

Anthony DeSimone, 40, could be freed from prison due to a federal judge's ruling this week, according to an Associated Press report published in the Boston Herald.

U.S. District Judge Charles Brieant said that, during DeSimone's 2000 trial, the Westchester County NY district attorney's office failed to turn over important evidence to the defense. That evidence pointed to the guilt of another party, noted Brieant.

DeSimone was convicted of killing college student Louis Balancio, 21, during a gang fight on Feb. 4, 1994, outside the Strike Zone bar in Yonkers NY. The fight reportedly involved the Tanglewood Boys gang, an organization believed to be affiliated with the mob. Balancio was stabbed at least a dozen times.

Lucchese Crime Family figures were associated with the crime and were believed to be working to silence witnesses. Anthony and Alfred Santorelli were convicted of aiding DeSimone after the killing.

It took three years for prosecutors to secure an indictment against DeSimone, and then another two years to track him down. He turned himself in to Yonkers police in November 1999, according to the New York Times. DeSimone was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. Judge Brieant threw out the conviction in 2005. A federal appeals court later reinstated the conviction but asked Brieant to review the material prosecutors withheld from the defense.

Brieant has allowed prosecutors just 20 days to win a stay from an appeals court in order to keep DeSimone in prison.

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Editor/publisher of crime history journal, Informer. Publisher of American Mafia history website mafiahistory.us. Moderator of Mafia-related Google+ community and Yahoo discussion group. Author of Wrongly Executed? Coauthor of Deep Water: Joseph P. Macheca and the Birth of the American Mafia and DiCarlo: Buffalo's First Family of Crime. Contributor of American Mafia history to Australian-published Mafia: The Necessary Reference to Organized Crime. Writer/co-writer of crime history articles for Informer, On the Spot Journal, Cigar City Magazine, Tampa Mafia Magazine.