Montauk Man Gets 20 Years for Killing Ex’s Lover

Montauk resident Joseph Grippo
Joseph Grippo, being brought to court for arraignment. (T.E. McMorrow)

An ex-convict from Montauk who admitted killing the 38-year-old man who was the killer’s ex-girlfriend’s love interest in 2019 was sentenced Wednesday to 20 years in prison plus 5 years post release supervision.  

Judge Stephen Braslow sentenced 50-year-old Joseph Grippo at Suffolk County court in Riverhead, where Grippo pleaded guilty in July to first-degree manslaughter in a deal that avoided him going to trial on a charge of second-degree murder, which carries a sentence of 35 years to life in prison.

“No amount of incarceration will bring the victim back to his loved ones, but with this lengthy sentence, justice has been served and this defendant will no longer be able to harm others,” said  Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond Tierney. 

Prosecutors and Suffolk County police said the 50-year-old man stabbed and bludgeoned fellow Montauk resident Robert “Panda” Casado to death on a narrow, shrouded path frequently used as a shortcut through Kirk Park shortly after 7 a.m. on Thursday, June 6, 2019.

Homicide Squad detectives arrested Grippo two weeks later following an investigation with East Hampton Town detectives. He has since been held without bail at Suffolk County jail.

Prosecutors said Grippo lured Casado to a secluded section of the path behind Second House and the Montauk Indian Museum that connects Main Street and Second House Road. There, Grippo used a pickaxe to stab Casado and strike him in the head with the blunt side of the tool, authorities said.

He died of blunt force trauma shortly later.

Grippo previously served two years in the Auburn Correctional Facility after being convicted of attempted robbery in 1990 at age 18. Six years after he was paroled, he was convicted of armed robbery and assault with a weapon with intent to kill, among other felonies, and served 15 years at the Collins Correctional Facility.

When he was released in 2012, Grippo returned to Montauk, where he lived in his mother’s house on Old Montauk Highway and worked as a landscaper.

-With T.E. McMorrow and Stephen J. Kotz

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