By Phil Corso
A Bayside man was charged with the murders of his mother and father over the course of about 15 months and also with attacking two police officers, the Queens district attorney said Tuesday.
Gregory Cucchiara, 36, was scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder on an indictment charging him with two counts of second-degree murder in the May 2011 death of his 66-year-old mother Giusepina and the August 2012 death of his 75-year-old father Carmelo, according to DA Richard Brown.
“This is a horrifying case of a young man throwing his life away and betraying the trust of his family — first by allegedly drowning his mother and then a year later suffocating his father,” Brown said. “The defendant’s actions, if true, are incomprehensible in a civilized society and must be severely punished.”
The medical examiner’s office gathered its most convincing evidence when DNA was recovered from underneath the fingernails of Cucchiara’s dead parents, matching the profile of their son’s, the Queens district attorney said.
According to the indictment, Brown said Cucchiara, of 215-46 28th Ave. in Bayside, killed his mother Giusepina May 24, 2011, by blunt impact to her head and submerging her head in water. Nearly 15 months later, he suffocated his father Carmelo to death between Aug. 20 and Aug. 21 of this year, the indictment said.
The criminal complaint charging him with his father’s death said Carmelo Cucchiara was found with cuts to his forehead and face, lying on his back on a bed near a supposedly bloody pillow. One witness also told police they heard Gregory Cucchiara arguing with his father hours before his body was discovered, the complaint filed by the Queens district attorney’s office said.
But it did not end there.
Brown said the Bayside man was also charged in a separate indictment with multiple counts of assault for allegedly attacking two police officers at the 114th Precinct in November as they questioned him about the murders.
Upon Cucchiara’s Nov. 13 arrest, Brown said the defendant “caused physical injury to a police lieutenant, obstructed governmental administration and attempted to assault a police detective.”
He has been held at Rikers Island without bail since his arrest, the DA said.
The Bayside man already had a record, the DA said, with prior arrests for assault, driving while intoxicated and drug possession.
Cucchiara could face up to 50 years to life in prison if convicted, Brown said.
Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4573.