Death penalty off table for former Briarcliff Manor officer facing murder charges

Nicholas Tartaglione is accused of being involved in a high profile drug conspiracy and quadruple murder.

News 12 Staff

Dec 14, 2022, 10:53 AM

Updated 530 days ago

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The death penalty is now off the table in the case against a former Briarcliff Manor police officer facing multiple murder charges.
Nicholas Tartaglione is accused of being involved in a high profile drug conspiracy and quadruple murder.
The government alleges in April 2016, a man named Martin Luna was lured into an Orange County bar run by Tartaglione's brother over drug money he owed. According to prosecutors, Luna brought along three men uninvolved with the drug deal. 
All four of the men were reported missing, and their bodies were discovered eight months later at an Orange County property rented by Tartaglione. 
News 12 has been told U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland was involved in the decision to not seek the death penalty.
The notice that the Justice Department would not seek the death penalty against Tartaglione was filed in federal court on Tuesday.
Part of the defense's argument against the penalty involved financier and drug trafficker Jeffery Epstein, who was Tartaglione’s cellmate.
Lawyers argued that Tartaglione tried to help him during his first suicide attempt in jail, but the video of that incident went missing. They say if a jury found Tartaglione guilty of death-eligible charges, that video could make a difference in sentencing.
"We're pleased with the Department of Justice's decision. Mr. Tartaglione, who has always maintained his innocence, is looking forward to a non-death penalty trial where he hopefully will be exonerated,” said Tartaglione’s attorney, Bruce Barket.
The case against him is expected to begin in federal court in the spring.


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