A Florida jury recommended life imprisonment for Anthony "Little Tony" Ferrari for his part in arranging and helping to murder Miami Subs founder Gus Boulis.
The 12-person jury reached a decision in less than an hour and voted against the death penalty, according to the Sun Sentinel.
The 56-year-old Ferrari was convicted in October of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder.
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Boulis was found shot to death in his car on a Fort Lauderdale street on Feb. 6, 2001. In late September 2005, Anthony Moscatiello, a reputed member of New York's Gambino crime family, James Fiorillo and Ferrari were arrested in connection with the killings.
Jurors heard testimony from three defense witnesses, including Ferrari's children. Anthony Ferrari Jr., 8, told the jury that his father called him "Snugglebear."
"He tells me that he loves me a lot," the boy said, according to The Associated Press.
"I tell him that I miss him a lot. He misses me too."
Ferrari's 13-year-old daughter, Tiffany, said she talks to her dad at least twice a week by phone.
The final defense witness, forensic psychologist Michael Brannon, told jurors that Ferrari grew up fatherless and associated with mobsters when he was a teenager in New York.
The jury's recommended sentence isn't binding for Circuit Judge Ilona Holmes, who is scheduled to impose a final sentence by the end of the week. The AP reported that Holmes told defense lawyer Christopher Grillo that she had no legal choice but to sentence Ferrari to life in prison without the chance of parole.
Fiorillo, 36, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and is expected to receive a six-year sentence, which he has already served, according to reports. Moscatiello's trial began in late September but resulted in a mistrial three weeks later when his lawyer became too sick to proceed. It hasn't been rescheduled.
Actor Joe Pingue portrayed Ferrari in the 2010 film "Casino Jack." The movie was based on the slaying and starred Kevin Spacey as former Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who served six years in jail for his role in the conspiracy involving Boulis' SunCruz casinos in a fraudulent 2000 deal.
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