Press Release


Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that Gerald Griffin was sentenced today to 25 years-to-life in prison for the murder of a 31-year-old man found naked and bludgeoned in 2011 in his Ridgewood home.

District Attorney Katz said: “We will pursue justice, no matter how much time has passed. A murderer is going to prison and the victim’s family finally will have a measure of closure.”

Griffin, 46, of Sutter Avenue, Brooklyn, was convicted in May by a jury of three counts of murder in the second degree, two counts of burglary in the first degree, two counts of robbery in the first degree, robbery in the second degree, intimidating a witness in the third degree, attempted tampering with physical evidence, criminal possession of stolen property in the fifth degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree. Queens Supreme Court Justice Ushir Pandit-Durant imposed the indeterminate sentence of 25 years-to-life.

According to the charges and trial testimony:

  • On September 14, 2011, at approximately 5:00 p.m., Peter Polizzi, was found inside his apartment at 57-06 Clover Place in Ridgewood by his brother, who discovered him underneath a couch, naked and badly beaten. The apartment had been ransacked and various items were missing. Polizzi died three days later.
  • Officers responding to the location recovered a used wine glass and a bloody baseball bat. Detectives investigating the incident obtained information from a friend of the family who saw two men leaving the location at approximately 11:15 a.m. on September 14, one of them wearing a T-shirt that read, “Irving Scrap Metal.”
  • The NYPD’s Cold Case Squad received the case in 2015. Working with Polizzi’s phone records, the squad found a woman who revealed she was inside the apartment at the time of the murder.
  • The woman said she had been taken to the address by Griffin, who was her pimp at the time, and another man. Griffin attacked Polizzi with a baseball bat and the other man beat him. After the attack, the men ransacked the apartment and removed two cell phones, money, a unique watch with a diamond-encrusted face and a box containing a white powdery substance.
  • DNA taken from the wine glass matched the woman’s DNA profile. In 2017, she identified Griffin in a photograph as the perpetrator with the bat. Griffin’s Facebook account included a photograph of him wearing the stolen watch. Additionally, business records from Irving Scrap Metal identified Griffin as a customer of the company at the time of the murder.
  • Griffin was indicted in 2018.

Senior Assistant District Attorney John Esposito prosecuted the case with the assistance of Assistant District Attorney Xhulia Derhemi, both of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney John W. Kosinski, Bureau Chief, and Assistant District Attorney Peter J. McCormack III, Senior Deputy Bureau Chief, and Karen Ross, Deputy Bureau Chief, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Shawn Clark.

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