Staten Island Advance, N.Y.
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — A man charged in the shooting death of his adult son on New Year’s Eve allegedly confessed to police soon after.
According to a criminal complaint filed by the Richmond County district attorney’s office, 57-year-old Joseph Leone told police at the scene: “That shotgun in the garbage can, that’s the one I shot him with.”
Authorities said the defendant shot his 29-year-old son, Joseph Leone Jr., in front of the defendant’s home on the 1200 block of Bay Street in Rosebank. Family of the victim said he was visiting his father at the time. Leone was apprehended at the scene, where police also recovered the firearm in a garbage can outside the home, prosecutors said.
The Legal Aid Society issued the following statement in regard to the case.
” Joseph Leone is a former U.S. Marine with no criminal record. He is presumed innocent, and we caution the public from making any rush to judgement. We will have more to say on this matter in the coming days, weeks and months,” said S. Maquita Moody, Senior Supervising Attorney with The Legal Aid Society’s Staten Island Trial Office.
Leone’s attorney asked the judge Sunday that her client receive medical attention in jail but did not specify his ailment.
He’s due back in court Jan. 6.
‘I DON’T WANT TO BE LIKE MY FATHER’
The victim’s wife in South Carolina described a strained relationship between her husband and his father.
“Joe always told me, ‘I don’t want to be like my father,’ and he definitely lived up to that,” Kimberly Leone told the Advance/SILive.com on Sunday.
In November 2020, the younger Leone mentioned his father in a Facebook post about his own children.
“[My children] won’t know what it’s like to realize in the span of jus a few conversations that you actually have no dad at all, while learning to be a dad myself,” he wrote. “My queen and I will raise Lions the way my father did, except I will always answer the phone for my children.”
A motive for the shooting remained uncertain Sunday.
CHARGED WITH MURDER, ASSAULT
The defendant faces multiple charges including second-degree murder, assault and criminal possession of a weapon. Upon searching his apartment, police seized a second shotgun and multiple boxes of ammunition.
The younger Leone was the father of three young children who served two years in the Army. He originally was from Brooklyn, prior to his current address in Kershaw, S.C.
On Friday he was found lying on the sidewalk unconscious and unresponsive just a few hours before the new year on Bay Street, about two blocks from Hylan Boulevard.
A family member in South Carolina posted on Facebook Saturday, writing in part, “My heart is forever broken, but I know you are no longer suffering.”
“I love you higher than the sky and deeper than the ocean. Please watch over me and your children.”
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