BENSONHURST — Three and a half years following the murder of Louis Barbati, co-owner of Gravesend’s famous L&B Spumoni Gardens, the man behind the shooting has finally been convicted of the crime.
Forty-four-year-old Long Island native Andres “Andy” Fernandez was convicted on Monday, Dec. 9 of second-degree murder and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
Barbati, 61, was shot and killed outside his Dyker Heights home near 76th Street and 12th Avenue just past 7 p.m. on June 30, 2016 while his wife and sons were inside.
At about 6:40 p.m., he had left his restaurant and was carrying a plastic bag containing $15,483 in cash.
About an hour earlier, according to the evidence, Fernandez — wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt and sunglasses — was lurking near Barbati’s home. When Barbati arrived, he parked his car alongside the house and got out, holding the bag of cash. Fernandez then walked across the street, shot Barbati several times and fled in a car without taking the money.
Evidence also showed that Fernandez was at L&B Spumoni Gardens earlier that same day.
Fernandez faces up to 25 years to life in prison when he is sentenced on Jan. 8, 2020.
A police source who spoke with this paper on the day of Fernandez’s arrest, Nov. 3, 2016, said that cops believed that “Fernandez attempted to rob Barbati, and Barbati pulled away and tried to run inside the house, [into] the gated backyard. Fernandez proceeds to shoot him five times, then runs up the block, jumps in his white Acura TLR and flees back to his home.”
Fernandez was identified in part thanks to surveillance footage released by police that showed a man dressed in a black hoodie, dark colored shorts and black sneakers near Barbati’s home shortly before the shooting.
On Dec. 5, 2016, Fernandez was indicted, charged with second-degree murder, first-degree attempted robbery and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, and ordered held without bail.
“With today’s verdict, this defendant has been brought to justice for the murder of a beloved husband, father and fixture of the Gravesend community,” said Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez. “I commend the jury for its hard work convicting this defendant, and for bringing some solace to the family, friends and many Brooklynites affected by this senseless tragedy.”
Additional reporting by Meaghan McGoldrick and Anna Spivak.