Jury, Don't Fear the Mafia: Federal Prosecutor

Barto Vernacet
From NY Daily News:

A FEDERAL prosecutor urged jurors to "stand up" against fear of the Mafia and convict Gambino capo Bartolomeo Vernace of gunning down two men in a Queens bar more than 30 years ago.

During closing arguments Monday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristin Mace reminded the panel that bartender Patrick Sullivan had feared for his life but finally came forward to help the feds to make a murder-in-aid of racketeering case against the longtime gangster.

"Nothing short of terror reigns in a community when three men walk into a bar, shoot two men over a spilled drink then walk out and continue their lives," Mace said. "The defendant believed he could get away with murder."

Vernace's accomplices also beat the rap after witnesses, including Sullivan, recanted their identifications of the killers.

"The violence, the fear, the lies must stop," Mace said Monday in Brooklyn Federal Court.

Defense lawyer Charles Carnesi labeled the feds' case a "do-over" because Vernace was previously acquitted of state murder charges.

Carnesi pounded away at inconsistencies in Sullivan's account of the April 1981 carnage in the Shamrock Bar on Jamaica Ave.

The government must prove that the murders of bar owners Richard Godkin and John D'Agnese helped Vernace climb the mob ladder from lowly associate to a spot on the Gambino family's ruling panel in 2011.

Carnesi argued that the mob doesn't condone "stupid" and "senseless" slayings of innocent people because it's "bad for business."

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/prosecutor-urges-jurors-stand-marfia-fear-article-1.1311080#ixzz2Q6c6U8kC