An Astoria man who tried to threaten a witness testifying against his cousin in a murder case is facing several charges, according to Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown.
Tyrone Ceruti, 39, of Astoria, and Samuel Ceruti, 37, of East New York, have been charged with second-, fourth- and fifth-degree conspiracy and third-degree tampering with a witness.
Samuel Ceruti fatally shot Sean Overton, 42, at the Astoria Houses at 2-06 Astoria Blvd. on April 5, 2015. He has been held without bail since his arraignment on charges of second-degree murder and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. Ceruti faces up to 25 years to life in prison if he is convicted and is due back on court in Sept. 16.
According to DNAinfo, Overton was a construction worker and father of a 4-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son.
Between May 9, 2015, and June 28, 2016, the two cousins conspired to commit first-degree murder, according to the charges. Samuel Ceruti, who is currently being held on Rikers Island, hired three men to attack the witness. His cousin, Tyrone, approached the witness after the attack and told the witness not to testify.
“Prospective witnesses must be protected from outside interference that might affect their testimony,” Brown said. “This office will not tolerate the intimidation of, or tampering with, witnesses and is committed to the vigorous prosecution of those who engage in such conduct.”
Samuel Ceruti is also charged with second-degree assault and second-degree tampering with a witness. If convicted, he faces up to 25 to life. Tyrone Ceruti, who is due back in court on Aug. 2 and ordered held on $1 million bail, faces up to 12 1/2 to 25 years in prison if convicted.