DiSimone sentencing: scenes from the courthouse

Emotionally devastated but passionately determined, the Balancio family of Yonkers shared their pain, grief and suffering in court today at the sentencing of Anthony DiSimone (left), who admitted to killing 21-year-old Louis Balancio  in a street brawl in Yonkers in 1994.

DiSimone, who served seven years in prison for the crime before his conviction was overturned due to evidence withholding, took a plea deal in which he would be sentenced to time served.   The family’s victim impact statements at the sentencing were heart-wrenching.

Parents Dorothy and Jeff Balancio came to the Westchester County Court with their 31-year-old son, Jeffrey, and many supporters. Dorothy Balancio’s wracking sobs filled the courtroom as her son and husband gave their victim’s impact statements. After she made her statement, tears ran down her face as she hugged her remaining son, Jeffrey, who said his brother’s slaying has left such a void that, when he gets married next October, he will have no best man.

Sitting next to Dorothy Balancio was Joanne Cicero, whose son, 17-year-old Paul Cicero, was killed in 1995 on a Bronx street by a reputed member of the Tanglewood Boys — the same mafia-related gang in which DiSimone was a reputed member. Cicero’s killer, John “Fat Face” Petrucelli, is serving a life sentence.

Outside the courthouse, where cameras were waiting, the Balancios said they were not surprised that DiSimone neither apologized nor made a statement in court. They shared their wish for a government registry of murderers – similar to the state’s registry of sex offenders – so people know when a convicted killer is living next to them.

The family then went to Mount Hope Cemetery in Hastings-on-Hudson to visit Louis’ grave site.

Rebecca Baker

Rebecca Baker joined The Journal News in March 2004. She covers Eastchester, Bronxville and Tuckahoe, and was previously the state and county courts reporter in Westchester County. In prior jobs, she covered the Town of Greenburgh and Rockland County government and politics. Before coming to The Journal News, she was a municipal reporter for newspapers in New Haven, Conn. and Warren, Ohio.