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Synergy Gym Owner To Be Retried In 2003 Murder Case

Christian Tarantino will be tried in court Monday. He faces a life sentence, if convicted.

A owner will be retried in federal court today for the 2003 murder of an associate, who is also the brother-in-law of Twisted Sister's lead singer Dee Snider.

Christian Gerold Tarantino, 43 of Dix Hills, who is part-owner of five locations in Nassau County, will be retried in the murder case of Vincent Gargiulo, 39, of Sunnyside Queens. Gargiulo was the brother of the 1980's heavy metal band's frontman Dee Snider's wife, Suzette. 

Tarantino was

Prosecutors said that in June 1994, Tarantino and an associate, Louis Dorval, shot and killed armored van driver Julius Baumgardt as they robbed him of $100,000 on Jericho Turnpike in Syosset.

Federal prosecutors added that while Dorval had fired the fatal shot, Tarantino participated in the crime while wearing a pig mask. Some months later, Dorval was arrested on charges in New Jersey that were unrelated to the armored car robbery and he said he would rather abscond than face incarceration.

Prosecutors said that Tarantino, allegedly worried that Dorval would identify him to authorities in an effort to lighten his own sentence, recruited help to kill Dorval and then put his body in a plastic trunk and dumped it into the Atlantic Ocean. The trunk with Dorval’s body was later recovered by the Coast Guard.

At his trial in Central Islip last year, prosecutors accused Tarantino of orchestrating the death of Gargiulo, the third murder. However, the jury failed to reach a verdict and U.S. District Judge Joanna Seybert declared a mistrial in the case.

Gargiulo was allegedly killed for having secretly recorded Tarantino’s admission of his involvement in earlier crimes and had tried to blackmail him with the recording. 

Tarantino has pleaded not guilty to the charges of conspiracy to murder and the murder of an informant. If convicted, he faces a life sentence. He also faces life sentences for the murders of Dorval and Baumgardt.

The jurors will not hear that Tarantino had been convicted of the Dorval and Baumgardt murders in order to prevent a prejudicial finding, Newsday reported.

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