A Long Island man may spend the rest of his life behind bars after being convicted of murdering the owner of a popular pizzeria, authorities announced.
Andres “Andy” Fernandez, 44, of Melville, was convicted of murder and other charges for the fatal shooting of Louis Barbati, the owner of L&B Spumoni Gardens in Brooklyn outside his Dyker Heights home, Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez announced. At the time of his death, Barbati was carrying $15,483 in cash in a plastic bag when he was shot.
Fernandez was convicted of second-degree murder and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon following a jury trial before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun. When he is sentenced on Jan. 8 next year, Fernandez faces a term of 25 years to life in prison.
On June 30, 2016, at approximately 6:40 p.m., Barbati left his pizzeria on 86th Street in Gravesend with the bag of cash.
Gonzalez said that approximately an hour before Barbati left his restaurant, Fernandez, wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt and sunglasses, was in the vicinity of the Barbati’s home on 12th Avenue in Dyker Heights and waited. At about 7 p.m., Barbati returned to his home, parked his car on the side of the house and got out holding the bag of cash.
Fernandez was found guilty of walking across the street and shooting Barbati several times, killing him. He subsequently ran off, without taking the money, entered a late-model Acura and fled. In addition to being at the murder scene, Fernandez was present at L&B Spumoni Gardens earlier that day, Gonzalez noted.
The investigation led to Fernandez, who was arrested by federal law enforcement officials on Nov. 3, 2016. It remains unclear why Fernandez lurked around Barbati's home before shooting him and fleeing without the cash.
“With today’s verdict this defendant has been brought to justice for the murder of a beloved husband, father, and fixture of the Gravesend community,” Gonzalez said. “I commend the jury for its hard work convicting this defendant, and for bringing some solace to the family, friends and many Brooklynites affected by this senseless tragedy.”
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