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Posted on: February 24, 2021

Freeport Man Sentenced to Life Without Parole After Retrial for 1998 Double Murder

John Pierotti shot and killed two men outside of a Baldwin tavern after an argument

MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that a Freeport man was sentenced today to life without the possibility of parole after a retrial for a 1998 double murder outside of a Baldwin tavern.


John Pierotti, 66, was convicted by a jury in front of Judge Helene Gugerty on February 28, 2020, of two counts of murder in the first degree (an A-I felony), criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree (a C violent Felony) and criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree (a D violent felony).


“For the past 22 years, John Pierotti has shown absolutely no remorse for murdering Gerard Kennedy and Willis Frost,” DA Singas said. “He senselessly shot these two men at point blank range outside a bar. The Kennedy and Frost families have suffered greatly these last two decades and I thank them for their extraordinary perseverance during the retrial.” 


DA Singas said that on December 23, 1998, the defendant fatally shot two men, 36-year-old Gerard Kennedy and 41-year-old Willis Frost, outside of the Dragger Inn in Baldwin. 


The defendant arrived at the bar at approximately 1:00 a.m. that night, armed with a handgun and ammunition. The victims had left the bar and were sitting in a van parked nearby when the defendant knocked on the driver’s side window and got into a fight with the victims. The defendant first shot Frost in the chest at point-blank range, and then shot Kennedy in the left eye as he tried to run away.


Following an investigation, the defendant was arrested in February 1999 by Nassau County Police Department detectives. 


The defendant was convicted of murder at trial in 2000, but two decades later the defendant’s conviction was reversed by a federal appellate court due to claims that the defendant could not hear during his trial. 


A retrial was ordered. 


Senior Litigation Counsel Nicole Aloise of DA Singas’ Major Offense Bureau and Senior Appellate Counsel Sarah Rabinowitz of the Appeals Bureau are prosecuting this case. Joseph Lo Piccolo, Esq. represents the defendant.                            





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