SI jeweler murder linked to mob

August 14, 2008 8:30:02 AM PDT
The murder of a Staten Island jeweler was linked to the Genovese crime family with the indictment of three men on federal charges Thursday.The three were charged in the fatal shooting of 43-year-old Louis Antonelli on April 29 outside a Staten Island restaurant.

The men, 25-year-old Christopher Prince, 25-year-old Charles Santiago and 29-year-old and Anthony Pica, were charged in the indictment with murder, robbery and conspiracy.

Federal authorities believe the murder of Antonelli was a hit linked to the crime family.

Two of the three suspects indicted were identified by cooperating witness Joseph Gencarelli, who allegedly drove the getaway car for Santiago.

Antonelli was gunned down leaving the El Sabor Tropical restaurant. His bodyguard, Jason Aiello, remained behind. Aiello, a retired police sergeant, was fatally shot by police outside his home last month in what may have been a suicide by cop.

Antonelli was a married father of two. He was shot in the chest and stomach.

The shooters did not take any of the jewelry the victim was carrying, leading investigators believe Antonelli was targeted.

Antonelli had recently celebrated the birth of his daughter.

"Why would somebody do this," son Louis Antonelli, Jr. asked the day after the shooting. "My dad was friends with everybody. Why would they do this?"

Antonelli was also an honorary member of the Sea Gate Police Department, which is not related to the NYPD. Sea Gate is a private, gated community on the far west end of Coney Island.

Antonelli apparently worked as a volunteer for the PBA. Authorities say he was given the honorary member title from the deputy chief for all the work he has done in the department.