Pee-Wee Died in Prison

Clearwater – thanks its Tampa mob expert Scott Deitche for this bizarre story. Anthony Lanza, son of Anthony “Pee Wee” Lanza a former capo in the Genovese Family, lost in the gamble of a lifetime in his trial for participating in the murder of a South Pasadena, Florida woman during a robbery spree which ended at a Subway sandwich shop. After hearing the case the jury announced it was deadlocked 11 to 1. Lanza’s attorney, Maura Kiefer, conferred with her client and then approached Chief Assistant State Attorney Bruce Bartlett with an agreement to accept the jury’s majority decision – neither side knowing which way the jury was leaning. The jury came back to the courtroom and announced they were 11 to 1 in favor of conviction. Pasco-Pinellas Circuit Judge Nancy Moate Ley then sentenced the 26 year-old Lanza to life in prison. Lanza, an accomplice, Robert Pasquince, and two other men drove to Florida from New York in April 1998 committing several holdups along the way. Pasquince had confessed to the crimes and was expected to testify against Lanza at trial. However, at the last minute, he recanted his confession and claimed he acted alone. As for the other two young men, they were both found murdered – each shot in the back of the head. Legal experts believe the conviction will not hold up under appeal. Meanwhile, in case you’re wondering, “Pee Wee” Lanza, Sr. was convicted in federal court in Clearwater in 1996 of extortion charges related to a murder-for-hire scheme. He died in prison.