Tuesday, February 11, 2014


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Brooklyn rabbi convicted in double murder

GOSHEN – An Orange County Court jury on Monday convicted Victor Koltun, 44, a rabbi with addresses in Brooklyn and Bayville, New Jersey, connection with the murders of a man and his nephew in Newburgh. Koltun faces life in prison without the possibility of parole when he is sentenced next month.

Koltun was found guilty of three counts of first-degree murder, two counts of conspiracy, and criminal possession of a weapon in deaths of Francis and Gerald Piscopo. Both men were shot in the head on November 4, 2010 in the vicinity of 12 Liberty Street in Newburgh.

The jury found that Koltun, acting with co-conspirators, murdered Francis Piscopo and his nephew, Gerald Piscopo.

Prosecutors argued that Koltun had been involved in a financial dispute with Francis Piscopo, who was demanding money from Koltun. The district attorney’s office argued Koltun masterminded a conspiracy to have Francis Piscopo killed to avoid paying that debt, and that he recruited Frank Lewis and Craig Fennell into the murder conspiracy.

Prosecutors also argued that Koltun lured Francis Piscopo to Liberty Street in Newburgh under the guise of meeting him to settle their financial dispute, when Koltun’s intention was to have Francis Piscopo killed. When both Piscopo men arrived, both were shot and killed. There was no evidence that Gerald Piscopo was involved in any dispute with Koltun, authorities said.