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Former mob hitman declares he's Gay
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Former mob hitman declares he's Gay

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Staff Writer

In a scene that seemed as if it were a script from The Sopranos, a mob hitman, Robert Mormando, came out of the closet while being sentenced for his part in the shooting of bagel storeowner Angelo Mugnolo, who survived the attack. Additionally, Mormando shocked veteran Federal Judge Jack Weinstein and the courtroom even further by renouncing his membership in La Cosa Nostra, the much-feared Sicilian mafia.

"That's the first time I've ever heard this in court," said Judge Weinstein of the mobster's renunciation of his blood oath. "I've asked many mafia members, and they've always refused."

Mormando, 44, a divorced father of two sons, dropped the bombshell on the court while being sentenced for his participation in the shooting of Mugnolo in a 2003 rubout ordered by Vincent Gotti - the younger brother of late crime boss John Gotti - who suspected the baker was having an affair with his wife.

Shortly after the shooting, according to court documents, Mormando became a government informant. The court calendar did not identify him by name and he was referred to as "John Doe" throughout the proceeding. Law officials said Mormando's cooperation was kept a closely guarded secret until he came out Monday.

Nancy Ennis, Mormando's defense lawyer, told the judge, "He was living in hiding, not from law enforcement, but from La Cosa Nostra. He has been openly Gay since he left the mob."

Mormando's partner has refused to enter the witness protection program, but they have relocated and together they "live a peaceful working life," she said.

It is known that members of the Mafia do not accept a Gay lifestyle within its ranks, although there is no specific rule that inductees must accept, like the prohibition from having an affair with another gangster's wife. Former DeCavalcante crime boss John D'Amato was murdered in 1992 for being Gay.

During sentencing, Judge Weinstein seemed most interested in what attracted a Gay man to the mob.

"As a young kid growing up in Ozone Park, John Gotti was a hero," Mormando explained. "He had cars. Power. I regret that now."

In the end, the former wiseguy was sentenced to time served - which was no time at all. He faced up to 17 years in prison.

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