A Bayside man faces up to 50 years to life behind bars after being convicted Friday of killing both his parents in separate incidents spaced a year apart, according to Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown.
Gregory Cucchiara, 39, of 28th Avenue in Bayside was arrested for the crimes in 2012.
According to trial testimony, Cucchiara’s mother — 66-year-old Giusepina Cucchiara — was found dead in the family’s 28th Avenue residence on May 24, 2011. The senior citizen had been struck on the head with a perfume bottle and choked with her own pearl necklace before having her head forcibly submerged underwater in the bathtub.
Gregory’s father, Carmelo Cucchiara, 75, moved out of the Bayside home he shared with wife Giusepina and their son Gregory Cucchiara soon after her death and took up residence in a basement apartment in his daughter’s Astoria home. She found him dead of asphyxiation on Aug. 21, 2012, lying in bed with a pillow covering his face.
Gregory Cucchiara was considered a suspect in the murder of his father at this time because he had been the last person to see the elderly man alive during a visit the previous evening. He was arrested following an extensive investigation by the NYPD and the Queens District Attorney’s Office.
Both victims had blunt force trauma to their heads before they were killed and DNA evidence found under the fingernails of both bodies were matched to their son, prosecutors noted.
Brown said such senseless acts of violence demonstrate that the defendant is a threat to society and deserving to spend the rest of his life behind bars.
“This is a horrifying case of cold-blooded murder and the ultimate betrayal of family trust,” Brown said.
Cucchiara was convicted of two counts of second-degree murder following a three-week jury trial in which he served as his own legal representation. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 23.