Anythony Nicodemo a reputed Philadelphia mafia soldier is on trial for the murder of Gino DiPietro who was shot to death in street in broad daylight. The case against Nicodemo seems some what circumstantial but the evidence obtained by the prosecution is hard to over look. A black Honda Pilot owned by the reputed mobster was seen by witnesses speeding away from the scene of the shooting after a masked gunman was seen jumping into the vehicle. Later a .357 handgun was identified as the murder weapon and found by authorities inside of the same Honda Pilot behind the drivers seat. The vehicle was parked behind the defendants home its engine still warm.
The D.A.’s Office has conceded that Nicodemo was not the actual shooter and it has been implied that it may have been Dominic Grande an associate of Nicodemo’s. Grande is the son of and nephew of Philly mob members that were jailed back in the 80’s but has not yet been charged in the case. Defense lawyers have claimed that it was indeed their clients vehicle but he was unaware of what was happening and was accosted by an unknown gunman and forced to drive away from the scene. The unknown gunman then jumped out of the vehicle leaving the murder weapon behind.
Problem is that Nicodemo did not report being car jacked to police when he was taken into custody. Authorities after finding the vehicle and weapon went to the front door of the house and found the door ajar called for the defendant to appear which he did a few seconds later. He was taken into custody and told the police he was at home working waiting on his wife and children to get back home never mentioning he was car jacked at gun point according to testimony. Police arresting him also testified that he was sweating profusely and had a pounding heart rate as if he had just ran a marathon.
The prosecution is expected to have their case completed sometime on Monday and the key decision as to if Nicodemo will take the stand in his own defense will have to be made. This could be a key turning point in the trial and it is unknown as to which way the defense team is leaning. Nicodemo is facing life in prison if found guilty and the feds are hoping that it may influence him to cooperate and flip on his fellow mobsters. It is believed he has information about still unsolved mafia murders including that of John “Johnny Gongs” Casasanto which may also involve other high ranking Philly mob members.