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Mob hitman to be released from prison by end of October

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Posted at 9:28 PM, Oct 11, 2021

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Luciano Spataro, a mob hitman, had been convicted of second-degree murder, crime solicitation in the second degree and suspected of even more from 1984 to 1986. He was sentenced to 25 years to life, but now, all these years later, he’s getting a chance at freedom.

Sisters and sisters-in-law of John Pinelli said they feel like justice has been unserved. Pinelli, who was almost 25 at the time of his death, was Spataro’s son-in-law. While Spataro did not pull the trigger to take Pinelli’s life, he reportedly planned and arranged his killing in Eden in 1986.

“I don’t understand why they’re letting him out,” Pinelli’s sister Tammy Simonian said.

Simonian received a letter from the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. The letter notifies her of Spataro’s release ‘on or about October 27.’

“I don’t want this man to be walking the streets. Let alone, God forbid, one of my family members run into him,” Simonian said.

In a statement, Spataro’s defense attorney, Thomas Eoannou said:

"We thank the parole board for exercising its wise discretion in favor of Mr. Spataro's release. He is in failing health and was a model prisoner. He looks forward to spending his remaining time at home with his family."

“A model prisoner? Come on. That is sickening. Not a prisoner, a murderer.”

Spataro almost walked free seven years ago. In 2014, the state granted the now 88-year-old parole, only to reverse that decision after hearing from relatives of one of his victims. Now, with the release moving forward, Pinelli’s loved ones do not believe Spataro should spend his last days with his family.

“We weren’t able to spend minutes with my brother before they took his life,” Simonian said.

If released, Spataro will be on parole supervision.