Two men will each spend the next 34 years in a federal penitentiary for their roles in the murder of an Ozone Park man during a botched home invasion in 2009, prosecutors announced.
Antoine Burroughs and Leon Whitfield were sentenced on Wednesday after previously pleading guilty to fatally shooting Gerardo Antoniello, 29, who came to the aid of his father during the robbery attempt at their home on the evening of Sept. 9, 2009.
According to U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, both suspects were hired by Francis LaCorte, a known associate of the Gambino crime family, to carry out the home invasion at the North Conduit Avenue residence of the victim’s father, who owns a local pizzeria and was the intended target of the robbery.
Police said the suspects approached Antoniello’s father and forced their way inside the home, where they brutally beat and pistolwhipped him. Gerardo Antoniello came to his father’s aid and was similarly attacked before he was fatally shot in the head by one of the perpetrators.
LaCorte was convicted in June 2012 Queens County Court for organizing the crime and other home invasions across Queens; he is currently serving a term of 50 years to life in state prison.
Following an investigation, Whitfield was arrested in connection with the case in March 2014, while Burroughs was caught the following September.
“No amount of prison time or restitution will return Gerardo Antoniello to his family,” Bharara said. “But this significant prison sentence ensures that Antoine Burroughs and Leon Whitfield can’t harm another innocent family.”