Duo now facing upgraded murder charges in Upper East Side party killing

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Kemberly Richardson has the latest from Lower Manhattan.

Charges have been upgraded against two men charged in connection with the murder of a Connecticut man who was killed after a night of partying in New York City last November.

James Rackover, 26, and Lawrence Dilione, 28, are now facing second degree murder charges in the death of 26-year-old Joseph "Joey" Comunale. They were initially only charged with concealment of a human corpse and tampering with physical evidence.

A third man is also facing charges in the case. Prosecutors charged 29-year-old Max Gemma with hindering prosecution.


Comunale, a Hofstra grad, attended a party at Rackover's apartment on Nov. 13, where police said he was stabbed 15 times in the chest during an argument.

RELATED: Timeline reveals details in murder of missing man in Manhattan


His father reported him missing the next day, and his body was found in a wooded area down the Jersey Shore in Oceanport two days later.

Photos: NYPD investigates UES apartment in search for missing man
Click here for more stories about Joey Comunale's murder.
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