Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Gambino family hit man Charles Carneglia found guilty of 4 murders

A feared Gambino family hit man known for dissolving corpses in acid faced life without parole after his Tuesday conviction for racketeering and four murders
. Charles Carneglia, 62, betrayed no emotion as the Brooklyn federal jury returned its verdict at the start of the day. He never looked at the courtroom crowd - including the wife and twin daughters of one murder victim - as he was led away
"I'm happy the animal who murdered my father will be in jail the rest of his life," said Milta Delgado-Wheeler, whose father was killed by Carneglia during a 1990 Kennedy Airport heist."He has no remorse for the victims or families he has hurt."
Jurors apparently reached their verdict late Monday - and then slept on it before coming back. In addition to the murders, Carneglia was convicted of extortion and robbery charges after the jury deliberated for five days.Carneglia - one of John Gotti's most-trusted hitmen - was found guilty of killing armored car guard Jose Delgado Rivera at Kennedy Airport.
The slain guard's widow, retired NYPD detective Ana Delgado, gasped loudly before bursting into tears as the verdict was returned. The defendant faces a June sentencing.
Carneglia was not found guilty in the March 1976 slaying of court officer Albert Gelb. Prosecutors said Carneglia killed Gelb to prevent his testimony in a gun case.
"While we didn't get exactly what we wanted, it's important this guy will sit in a jail cell the rest of his life and wake up every morning and not be able to see the sun," said court officers union head Dennis Quirk.Seven mob turncoats portrayed Carneglia as a murderous Gambino family enforcer and a member of the late mob boss Gotti's inner circle.
Prosecutors said Carneglia became a made man in 1990 after murdering fellow Gambino member Louis DiBono in a garage beneath the World Trade Center. Carneglia was convicted of that murder.The other two victims were a pair of mob associates, both stabbed through the heart: Sal Puma in 1983 and Michael Cotillo in 1977.
Co-conspirator Kevin McMahon, a 5-foot-2 hood known to other mobsters as "The Midget," provided the most damning evidence against Carneglia - including witness accounts of the Rivera and DiBono slayings.McMahon was a homeless teen when he was taken in by Carneglia's brother, John. On the witness stand, he recounting growing up in the mob, spinning tales of jury tampering, body disposal, torture and murder.Carneglia dissolved the bodies of some victims with acid, prosecutors say.
Carneglia's lawyer offered a combination defense, citing his client's heavy boozing and heavy beard as evidence the mobster had turned his back on the Mafia.
Carneglia, employing a strategy used by John A. (Junior) Gotti, claimed he left the Gambino family in 2001 - well beyond the five-year statute of limitations for