The Montauk man who murdered a former friend in a jealous rage over a woman both were seeing, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office, has spent much of his adult life in New York State prisons, according to state records.
Joseph Grippo, 47, has been charged with second-degree murder of Robert Casado, 38, also of Montauk. Casado was bludgeoned to death shortly after 7 AM on Thursday, June 6, on a narrow, shrouded path frequently used as a shortcut through Kirk Park, according to the police.
Grippo was remanded to county jail without the possibility of bail. According to District Attorney Tim Sini, Grippo used a pickaxe to murder Casado, both stabbing him with the pick repeatedly, as well as striking him in the head with the blunt side of the tool. According to papers filed in East Hampton Town Justice Court, Grippo also used a knife to kill Casado. Sini spoke minutes after Grippo was arraigned in East Hampton Town Justice Court on Friday, June 21.
Sini said that Grippo used a pretext to lure Casado into a secluded section of the path that connects Main Street and Second House Road and then turned on him and killed him.
Grippo was arrested on June 20 in Montauk by Suffolk County detectives, who had conducted a two-week-long investigation, working alongside East Hampton Town detectives.
His case was presented to a grand jury in Riverside, which returned a sealed indictment the same day Grippo was arraigned in East Hampton.
Grippo will be arraigned on the murder charges in county criminal court in Riverside on Friday, June 28. In 1990, when Grippo was 18 years old, he was sentenced to up to four years in prison on an attempted robbery charge. He served two years at the Auburn facility upstate, before being paroled.
Then, six years later, in 1998, Grippo was convicted of armed robbery and assault with a weapon with intent to kill, along with several other felonies. His sentence at that time was a straight 15 years. He served his time at the Collins facility upstate, and was released in late December of 2012. He returned to Montauk, where he lived in his mother’s house on Old Montauk Highway and worked as a landscaper.
“We used to hang out every single day,” Edgar Ramirez said of Casado on Friday. Ramirez was one of many from the Latino community in Montauk who came to justice court that morning to show their support for the dead man and his family. Many of them were from the Dominican Republic, as was Casado. “I spent my whole winter with him. He didn’t have a job,” Ramirez added. “I helped him, with money and food.”
It is not unusual for laborers in the landscaping business to be unemployed during the winter.
At one point, Grippo had been friends with Casado and Ramirez, Ramirez said. “It is so, so sad,” he said.
Casado’s father, Benny Garces, an employee at Gurney’s Resort, arrived at the courthouse for the arraignment, being supported by friends. When the father left the courthouse, he nearly collapsed a couple of times. Overcome with emotion, he was helped to a car by a group of friends and family.
If convicted as charged, Grippo faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.
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JUNE 16, 2019
Police arrested a Montauk man on a charge of murder following a two-week investigation.
The East Hampton Town Police, working alongside the Suffolk County homicide squad, announced the arrest of Joseph Grippo, 47, charged with the murder of Robert Casado, 38, also of Montauk. Casado was bludgeoned to death at around 7 AM on Thursday, June 6 on a narrow, shrouded path frequently used as a shortcut in Kirk Park by Second House.
Grippo, the man charged with murdering his former friend, Casado, was remanded to county jail without the possibility of bail. According to District Attorney Tim Sini, Grippo used a pick axe to murder Casado, both stabbing him with the pick repeatedly, as well as striking him in the head with the blunt side of the pick. He is expected to be indicted by a grand jury in Riverside today.
According to Sini, the two men, former friends, were locked in a love triangle.
Grippo is a convicted felon, having served 15 years previosuly for an armed robbery in Suffolk County. He had been living with his mother on Old Montauk highway before the June murder, the DA’s office said.
If convicted as charged, he faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.