The Queens drug dealer who testified last month about how he shot and killed two men, chopped up their bodies and buried the parts in his parents' Coram backyard and in a nearby sump will "never see the light of day," a state Supreme Court justice said Monday in sentencing him to life in prison without parole.
The deaths and dismemberment of Joseph Odierno, 35, of Miller Place, and Jairo Santos, 22, of Washington Heights, were among "the most brutal murders I've presided over," said Justice Robert W. Doyle, who's been on the bench more than 30 years.
Darren Lynch, 29, of Middle Village, Queens, was convicted last month of first- and second-degree murder and first- and second-degree kidnapping. He testified he killed Odierno and Santos because he believed they cheated him out of $30,000 by facilitating a deal where he ended up with fake cocaine.
At his sentencing, Lynch apologized to the victims' families but maintained Odierno and Santos wronged him. "When they acted deceitfully . . . it made the situation worse than it was," Lynch said.
During the trial Lynch had insisted his co-defendant, James Wall, 30, of Coram, did not take part in the slaying. The jury also convicted Wall.
Monday Doyle sentenced Wall to 50 years to life for second-degree murder and 25 years to life for kidnapping charges.
"My heart goes out to the families," Wall said, sobbing. "I did not mean for this to happen."
Odierno's mother, Odette Odierno, said her son would have turned 37 Tuesday. "As a single parent, it was just the two of us for so many years," she said. "I never thought I'd outlive my son."
Santos' older sister, Diana Santos, said she is haunted by pictures and descriptions of her brother's slaying and hearing Lynch talk about how he and his family had a barbecue in his parents' backyard days after he buried the parts there.
She said she's been depressed and unable to work since the trial.
Assistant District Attorney John Scott Prudenti said he and Assistant District Attorney Kerri Kelly are "amazed at how Mr. Lynch could call himself a victim," and that the case is one of the most brutal they've prosecuted in about 40 combined years of experience.