PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The jury hearing the mob murder trial of Francis “Cadillac Frank” Salemme was brought on a morbid field trip on Friday.
The jury of 10 women and 8 men boarded a bus at federal court in Boston and brought to Marie Ave. in Sharon, Massachusetts, which was Salemme’s former home. Investigators say it was in the kitchen of the modest home that Steven DiSarro – a Boston nightclub owner and Providence native – was strangled to death in 1993.
U.S. District Court Judge Allison Burroughs allowed a request by defense attorneys to view the house and another location, but because another family now lives there, she authorized only an exterior view of the home.
Jurors were then driven to a mill building on Branch Ave. in Providence where DiSarro’s remains were discovered in March 2016. The court asked the media covering the visits not to take pictures or video of the juror’s faces.
Investigators say Salemme, his late-son Frank Salemme Jr., and codefendant Paul Weadick, murdered DiSarro because they feared he was going to cooperate with the FBI. The 43 year-old was under investigation for his business dealings and association with underworld figures at the time. On Wednesday his widow – Pamela DiSarro – testified that her husband told her he had been pulled over by the FBI on the highway and they asked him to cooperate.
At the time of the murder, as well as the 2016 exhumation of DiSarro’s body, the mill building was owned by William Ricci, who has been identified as a close associate of longtime mob capo Robert “Bobby” DeLuca. Investigators said Ricci was caught up in a separate drug case in 2015 and shared with prosecutors the location of DiSarro’s body in an effort garner leniency.
As a result, Robert DeLuca was charged with lying to investigators about what he knew of the murder, and Salemme and Weadick were charged with the murder of a witness.
As part of a plea deal, DeLuca is expected to testify at Salemme’s trial.
Ricci, Joseph DeLuca, and the two others prosecutors said helped bury the body – Charles “Harpo” Garabedian and Richard Cinquegrana – were given immunity from prosecution.
DeLuca is set to be sentenced following the Salemme trial.