NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The man accused of gunning down reputed Gambino mob boss Frank Cali appeared in court Monday morning.

Anthony Comello faces charges of murder, assault and criminal possession of a weapon for a loaded firearm, reports CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge.

Anthony Comello (credit: CBS2)

The district attorney has until April 3 to make an indictment. Comello is expected to plead not guilty when he’s formally indicted.

Comello was ordered held without bail and is being kept in protective custody.

READ: Criminal Complaint Against Anthony Comello

The 24-year-old Comello is accused of gunning down Francesco “Franky Boy” Cali outside the 53-year-old’s Staten Island home a week ago.

Police say Comello may have crashed his truck into Cali’s car to lure him outside, then shot him to death.

Sources say the hit was said to be a violent outburst over Cali’s disappaproval of Comello’s romantic interest in his niece. Comello was angry that Cali told him he wasn’t good enough for her.

Police say the motive is still under investigation and could be more complicated than that.

In court last week, Comello held up his hand with words scribbled with pen written on his palm. His attorney deflected any questions about it, but sources say something will need to be examined more closely about how he got access to a sharp object like a pen while in police custody.

Comello’s attorney said his client has been place in protective custody, due to serious threats made against him.