Man sentenced to jail time for hiding Stamford man’s death
STAMFORD — The third man inside a Manhattan apartment where a 26-year-old Stamford man was brutally murdered by two men was sentenced to prison on Friday.
Max Gemma received six months in prison for covering up a grisly murder, in which two men — James Rackover and Lawrence “Larry” Dilione — killed Westhill High School graduate Joey Comunale in November 2016.
Rackover was found guilty of murder in the second degree in December and was sentenced to 28 years to life in prison.
Earlier this year, Dilione was sentenced to 23 years in prison.
On Friday, Gemma apologized to the Comunale family for his interactions with police, in which he misled them about Comunale’s whereabouts.
“Today Max took responsibility for his statements to the police in the aftermath of a horrible crime committed by James Rackover and Lawrence Dilione,” said Gemma’s attorney Mark Bederow, in an emailed statement.
However, Bederow drew a clear distinction between Gemma’s actions and those of Dilione and Rackover.
“To be clear, as the DA’s investigation confirmed, Max had nothing whatsoever to do with the violence committed by Rackover or Dilione, or their attempt to clean the crime scene and to conceal Joseph Comunale’s body,” he wrote.
Comunale had just met Dilione and Gemma outside a New York nightclub and accompanied him and five others to Rackover’s Sutton Place apartment on Nov. 13, 2016. Dilione and Rackover were close friends at the time.
While inside the apartment, Dilione and Rackover beat, stabbed and attempted to dismember Comunale, then threw his body out of a 30-foot-high window. Police said they then drove 60 miles to Oceanport, N.J., where they buried the body in a shallow grave.