Gambino capo John "Jackie the Nose" D'Amico and long-time family associate Joseph "Joe the German" Watts both pleaded not guilty yesterday to the 1989 murder of Staten Island businessman Fred Weiss, and prosecutors said that they won't seek the death penalty against the two gangsters. D'Amico and Watts were indicted last month for the murder of Weiss whom the late boss John Gotti believed was cooperating with authorities:
Weiss was gunned down as he entered his vehicle in front of his home on Wellington Court. The murder was ordered by Gotti, authorities say. Weiss, 49 at the time of his death, was staring at 70 years in prison for his alleged role in a Mafia-connected dumping operation in Arlington and was rubbed out when Gotti and company feared he might turn canary.
D'Amico, who currently is serving a 2-year sentence for extortion that ends in November, allegedly arranged for New Jersey's DeCavalcante crime family to carry out the hit against Weiss: "Elderly Jersey mob boss John Riggi confessed from behind bars several years ago that he ordered the hit on Weiss as a favor to Gotti." Gotti dismissively referred to the Jersey mobsters as "our farm team."