What to Know
- A Brooklyn man was convicted of murder in the cold case killing of a 31-year-old man found naked and bludgeoned in his Queens home in 2011, the local district attorney announced.
- Gerald Griffin, 46 and of Brooklyn, was convicted by a jury of murder, burglary, robbery, intimidating a witness, attempted tampering with physical evidence, criminal possession of stolen property and criminal possession of a weapon, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced Friday.
- Griffin faces 25 years to life in prison on the murder conviction when he is sentenced June 15.
A Brooklyn man was convicted of murder in the cold case killing of a 31-year-old man found naked and bludgeoned in his Queens home in 2011, the local district attorney announced.
Gerald Griffin, 46 and of Brooklyn, was convicted by a jury of murder in the second degree, burglary in the first degree, robbery in the first and second degrees, intimidating a witness in the third degree, attempted tampering with physical evidence, criminal possession of stolen property in the fifth degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced Friday.
Griffin faces 25 years to life in prison on the murder conviction when he is sentenced June 15.
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The conviction stems from charges and trial testimony in a case that is more than a decade old.
According to the charges and trial testimony, on Sept.14, 2011, at around 5 p.m., Peter Polizzi was found by his brother inside his Ridgewood apartment, underneath a couch, naked and severely beaten. Responding officers recovered a used wine glass and a bloody baseball bat, according to trial testimony. Polizzi died three days later.
According to the trial, the apartment had been ransacked and various items were missing. Detectives investigating the incident obtained information from a friend of the family who saw two men leaving the location at around 11:15 a.m. on that day, with one wearing a T-shirt that read, “Irving Scrap Metal.”
As time passed, the NYPD’s Cold Case Squad eventually was handed over the case in 2015, according to the district attorney's office. Detectives who were working with Polizzi’s phone records found a woman who revealed she was inside the apartment at the time of the murder.
According to the testimony, the woman said she was taken to the address by her pimp at that time, whom she identified as Griffin, and another man. She said that Griffin attacked Polizzi with a baseball bat and the other man also beat him. After the attack, the men ransacked the apartment, stealing two cell phones, money, a watch with a diamond-encrusted face and a box containing a white powdery substance.
Eventually, the DNA taken from the wine glass found at the apartment matched that of the woman’s. In 2017, she identified Griffin as the man who used the bat. Additionally, Griffin’s social media included a photograph of him wearing the stolen watch and business records from Irving Scrap Metal identified him as a customer at the time of the killing.
“This cold-blooded killer thought he could get away with murder, but the NYPD tracked him down and we made sure he will go to jail for a long time," Katz said.