Long Island man sentenced in shooting death of beloved NYC restaurant owner

DYKER HEIGHTS, Brooklyn (WABC) -- A Long Island man has been sentenced to 24 years to life in prison for the shooting death of a beloved restaurant owner in Brooklyn, officials announced Monday.

The owner of L&B Spumoni Gardens in Gravesend, 61-year-old Louis Barbati, was ambushed outside his home in Dyker Heights. He was carrying $15,483 in cash in a plastic bag when he was killed.

"This defendant is now facing the serious consequences for the brazen ambush murder of an innocent and beloved local business owner right outside of his home," District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said. "Nothing will bring him back, but I hope this significant sentence brings some small measure of solace to his heartbroken family and friends."

The District Attorney identified the defendant as 45-year-old Andres ("Andy") Fernandez, of Melville, Long Island.

The defendant was convicted of second-degree murder and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon on December 9, 2019, following a jury trial.

Officials said that according to the evidence on June 30, 2016, at about 6:40 p.m., the victim, Louis Barbati, 61, left his restaurant located at 2725 86th Street.

About an hour earlier, according to the evidence, the defendant, wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt and sunglasses, was in the vicinity of the victim's home on 12th Avenue in Dyker Heights and waited, the evidence shows. At about 7 p.m., the victim arrived at his home, parked his car on the side of the house and got out holding the bag of cash.

The defendant then walked across the street and shot the victim several times, killing him.

He subsequently ran, without taking the money, entered a late-model Acura and fled. In addition to being at the murder scene, the defendant was present at L&B Spumoni Gardens earlier that day, according to the evidence.

Surveillance images of the defendant were distributed by the New York City Police Department and he was identified by several witnesses. He was arrested by federal authorities on November 3, 2016.

Barbati was the long time co-owner of the popular Brooklyn pizzeria, which has been featured in several TV shows, and run by his family for four generations.

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