Lawyer For Suspect In Killing Of S.I. Groom-To-Be Says Client Acted In ‘Self-Defense’

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The suspect accused of killing a Staten Island groom-to-be was arraigned Friday morning on a second-degree murder charge.

Redinel Dervishaj, 35, kept his head down and said nothing as he was led out of the 120th Precinct. He pleaded not guilty when he appeared before a Richmond County Criminal Court judge.

1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports

Police say he stabbed 27-year-old Anthony Lacertosa to death in the midst of a brawl outside the Espana Restaurant in Annadale last weekend. Authorities say it was all captured on surveillance video.

Dervishaj’s court-appointed defense lawyer, Tom Reilly, said his client has a “Good self-defense case and will testify to the grand jury next week to tell his side of the story.”

“I believe there are several people, who were potentially attacking my client at the time,” Reilly told reporters.

Law enforcement sources, who have seen the surveillance video, say there may be a case for self-defense.

Dervishaj’s lawyer was also asked about his client’s alleged ties to violent Albanian crime factions.

“I don’t think that plays any part, in any type of — in whether or not he committed this crime,” Reilly said.

Lacertosa had been out with friends celebrating his engagement. He was due to marry his fiancee in November.

Police say Dervishaj is a friend of the restaurant manager, and came to back him up when they were overwhelmed, police say, by the sheer number of friends of Lacertosa.

When the manager cursed them for drunken behavior, Dervishaj is accused of stabbing Lacertosa during the fight, and running to a Chicago suburb.

Dervishaj was captured at a relative’s home near Chicago on Tuesday, just hours before Lacertosa’s wake on Staten Island. He flown back to New York Thursday night after he waived extradition.

Dervishaj served more than three years in prison for a 2007 shootout in Queens with two other Albanian figures.

“We will never get him back. Regardless of what happens with the investigation and everything, we will never get him back,” said Lacertosa’s brother-in-law Jamie Caruvana.

Lacertosa’s funeral was Thursday. Dervishaj was ordered held until his next court date on March 30.

Please share your thoughts below…

  • albanesii

    i think the albanian guy did what he had to do …because i know once italian or irish drink a lil or something …they think they are the goodfellas and thats what they deserve…i wish the all five or four of them got killed!!! we need this in life to eliminate the dirty mouths and disrespectfull people!! big upss to the albanian!!



      • Michael

        I agree 100% that this was a case of self defense..I know alot of staten island goombahs who are juiced up from steroids and when they drink they suddenly turn into bad asses and become violent and out of control..To say this was murder is ridiculous when it was 12 guys against 1 guy even the guys friends and family are keeping quite because they know they started the fight..this should serve as a lesson to all juice head punks who think they can do whatever they want and destroy anyones property.


    lorenzo1984 I thankyou for your concerns ant reply, If I can clarify something I only bought up my race so everybody who reads these blogs know from where I come from.A Greek and I can say I know alot of albanians and my friendship with them they are very caring people and respectful people and HARD working people, I never experienced nor ever witnessed no albanian disrespecting anybody. This whole incident I totaly agree with you it could’ve been avoided and yes it was a tragedy. On the other hand lorenzo1984 would you agree with me with the whole incident on what had happened on that night. That Mr Redinal Dervishaj when he went outside to talk to the italians and tried to inform them to stop urinating on the restaurant,were the restaurants restrooms that occupied. Then after confronting the drunken italians,does that give them the rite to outnumber Mr Dervishaj then in addition to that they picked him up and threw him over a car (COME ON WAS THAT NECCESAY). So Mr Redinal Dervishaj then got up and ran back into the restaurant to leave that whole situation,,then what happens the Italians still felt to plan on doing more bodily harm to him and FOLLOW him into the store can I ask (WHY) then when Mr. Redinal Dervishaj went into the store he was able to get something to protect his own life and acted in “TOTALY SELF DEFENSE”Otherwise if he didn’t do what he did he could’ve been the dead one then im sure the italians would’ve been bragging about it…….the game is chess and Mr Redinal Dervishaj migh’ve lost the battle but won the war………………..Alo I am “HOPING”that the court system sees this case as a self defense case because he was 1000% justified. All charges should get dropped he is innocent………………………lorenzo1984 I hope you agree with me and don’t think this case has an arguement,because I know that you also know that this case was “SELF DEFENSE”………………….

  • dday

    Nick, i like your response to that dirtbag. As if the albanian decided out of nowhere to stab someone. Too bad he didn’t get the others as well

  • justin

    If I’m not mistaken I read in the daily news that the guy who got killed and four of his friends chased the albanian dude into the resturant after they had already beat him up and tossed him over a car. I suppose they wanted to tell him they were sorry. This albanian guy was running for his life and got cornered sounds like self defense to me

    • lorenzo1984

      The fight was over and the Albanian guy went back in to the restaurant to get a knife, that is why 6 people following him. = At least Manslaughter

    • The Greek

      You are “ABSOLUTELY RITE BRO…………………………….You are a smart Individual and you listen to both sides, I respect that. To bad other people aren’t like us………………….

  • Bets

    And to think I befriended an Albanian and dated him once. Did not go again because I kept wondering about my purse that was missing and the $20 inside. He ‘found’ my purse but no $$ inside… always wondered!

  • Leslie

    will Obama speak out on this?

  • Lou Bracate

    There is good in all races and it really isnt fair to generalize, but the Albanians are a rough , gruff bunch…There isn’t much refinement in that group..

    • Nick

      By “refinement”, you mean your fellow grease balls that urinated all over the restaurant? And than wondered why they got knifed?

      • The Greek

        I am a first generation american with a greek descent,after reading and hearing about this whole incident,I would like to excercise my first constitutional rite. Mr Dervishaj at the night of the incident had gotten out numbered and jumped,I believe that “EVERYTHING”is even on the restaurants video footage. After Mr. Dervishaj had gotten jumped and outnumbered by the italians he then ran back inside,for all you viewers that are reading this what does that tell you,that Mr. Dervishaj was not the aggressor it was the italians that follwed him “AFTER”out numbering him which is not even fare,then after Mr Dervishaj then realized he was getting followed he acted in “SELF DEFENSE” and to all the viewers who do not agree with me you are 100% “WRONG” I am Greek and I will say that the Albanians are very “HARD WORKERS”RESPECFUL”HONEST”AND VERY “FAMILY ORIENTED”PEOPLE.Theres a (Greek old saying) in which I will say (those who are looking for trouble will find it the hard way,and the outcome they found what they were looking for),because I am allowed to say it because I am excersising my first constitutional rite (FREEDOM OF SPEECH) Mr. Dervishaj acted in “SELF DEFENSE”and I hope he gets a “FAIR trial and get released “WITH ALL CHARGES DROPPED”……….From one greek to an Albanian….I hope this judicial system gives him a “FAIR”trial because my opinion is that the Albanian is 100% at the rite and he acted in “SELF DEFENSE”………BY THE WAY THE ITALIANS COULDNT FIND THE BATHROOM IN THE RESTAURANT AND THE URINATED OUTSIDE NOT TO CLASSY………………

        • lorenzo1984

          I agree with you….. It is a real shame what happened….. this could have been avoided… But from what I have been reading Anthony Lacertosa was not involved in the first altercation….. I think the brothers and “friends” should be held accountable for starting this ****. I think there is a lot more to it? Why hasn’t the manager being charged at all? there is obviously some case of self defense for him… otherwise I think they would have charged him with menacing or something….
          I just don’t know…. I just think this is very sad….
          Please stop bringing in race…. it has nothing to do with it…. there are dimwits everywhere…

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