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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA) – For the second time in three months, a South Florida appeals court Wednesday ordered a new trial for a defendant convicted in the high-profile 2001 murder of the founder of the Miami Subs restaurant chain.
A panel of the 4th District Court of Appeal overturned the conviction of Anthony Ferrari, finding, in part, that investigators had not obtained a warrant before obtaining past information about cell-phone locations.
The ruling came after the appeals court in June ordered a new trial for Anthony “Big Tony” Moscatiello, who also was alleged to have been part of a plot to kill businessman Gus Boulis in Broward County.
Boulis’ murder came amid a dispute about SunCruz Casinos, which he had owned.
Ferrari and Moscatiello were reputed to have ties to the Gambino crime family.
Ferrari was convicted of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. But in a 21-page ruling Wednesday, the appeals court ordered a new trial because of two issues, including a finding that a circuit judge improperly denied a motion by Ferrari to suppress “historical cell-site location information.”
The ruling said investigators obtained data on two of Ferrari’s cell phones that showed their location on the night of the murder. But it pointed to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling this year that said obtaining such “historical” data requires a search warrant.
“The acquisition of this data without a warrant based on probable cause constituted an illegal search pursuant to the Fourth Amendment,” said the ruling, written by appeals-court Judge Martha Warner and joined by judges Robert Gross and Carole Taylor.