Volume 19 | Issue 33 | December 15 - 21, 2006
Criminal Court Judge Daniel Fitzgerald this week sentenced Rudy Fleming, 21, to life in prison with no chance of parole for the Jan. 27, 2005 murder of Nicole duFresne during a hold-up on a Lower East Side street corner.
Fleming, found guilty in October, did not attend his trial or the sentencing on Mon. Dec. 11 but the proceedings were shown in his cell on closed circuit television. In addition to the life sentence for first degree murder, he received 25 years for first degree robbery, 15 years for first degree attempted robbery, seven years for second degree attempted robbery and 15 years for criminal possession of a weapon.
DuFresne, an actress who worked as a bartender on the Lower East Side, was killed with a single bullet to the chest when she, her boyfriend, Jeffery Spark, and another couple were held up at the corner of Clinton and Rivington Sts.
Spark attended the sentencing wearing the blood-stained shirt he had worn the night of the murder. The victim’s parents, who attended the trial, were not at the sentencing.
A Jan. 18 trial date was set for Nicholas Pisciotti, 36, on first-degree assault in connection with the Sept. 18, 2005, beating of Joseph “Joey Clams” Caruso, manager of Odea, a restaurant on Broome St. near Mulberry St.
The incident, in which the victim suffered brain damage, is said to have started when Caruso admonished Pisciotti and people in his party for smoking in the restaurant. Pisciotti’s friend, Louis Ventafredda, pleaded guilty last month to the same charge and because he has no arrest record, has the option of pleading to a misdemeanor if he stays out of trouble for a year, according to reports.
Pisciotti, identified in a Daily News article as a Bonnano crime family soldier, is claiming self-defense and contends that Caruso, said to be a Genovese crime family associate, started punching first. Robert Ianniello, president of the Little Italy Merchants Association, another partner in Odea, was also assaulted.