TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – The Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to take up a state appeal of a decision that will lead to a new trial for a defendant in the 2001 murder of the founder of the Miami Subs restaurant chain.
The Attorney General’s Office last year took the case to the Supreme Court after the 4th District Court of Appeal overturned the murder conviction of Anthony “Big Tony” Moscatiello, who was alleged to be part of a plot to kill businessman Gus Boulis in Broward County.
The Supreme Court, as is common, did not explain its reasons for declining to hear the case. The ruling last year by the 4th District Court of Appeal centered on testimony by witness Joseph Marley, who recounted a conversation with another suspect, Joseph Gurino.
Marley testified during a bond hearing that Gurley told him he “got the work from Moscatiello” who was alleged to be a member of the Gambino crime family.
Marley and Gurino were dead at the time of Moscatiello’s trial, where the testimony from the bond hearing was improperly used, the appeals court ruled.
“The trial court allowed into evidence, over the objection of the defense, the testimony of a witness at a bond hearing for appellant (Moscatiello), where the witness had died subsequent to the bond hearing,” the appeals-court ruling said.
“In his testimony, the witness related statements by John Gurino which amounted to an admission that Gurino was the shooter in the murder and that he ‘got the work from Moscatiello.’ We conclude that this statement — that Gurino ‘got the work from Moscatiello,’ which featured prominently in both the opening and closing arguments of the state, was inadmissible hearsay. Because the state has not shown that it was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt, we must reverse” for a new trial. Boulis’ murder came amid a dispute about SunCruz Casinos, which he had owned.
(©2019 CBS Local Media. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The News Service of Florida’s contributed to this report.)