Bronx DA: Bronx Man Sentenced To 20 Years to Life in Prison for Fatally Shooting His Boss in Dispute



Defendant Was Convicted by Jury of Second-Degree Murder

Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark today announced that a Bronx man was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison for killing his supervisor after they got into a fight at the defendant’s apartment.


District Attorney Clark said, “The defendant called police after killing the victim, and told them the victim shot himself. Thanks to the hard work of analysts who were able to match the bullet impact marks left on the walls of the apartment, we were able to prove the defendant shot and killed his colleague.”


District Attorney Clark said the defendant, Rafael Morato, 49, was sentenced on July 31, 2023 to 20 years to life in prison before Bronx Supreme Court Justice Jeanette Rodriguez-Morick. The defendant was found guilty of second-degree Murder on March 6, 2023, after a jury trial.


According to the investigation, on July 5, 2019 at approximately 10:48 a.m., at 1750 Sedgwick Avenue, the defendant and the victim, Ostilio Salerno, 44, who was his supervisor in a construction company, had a dispute. Morato shot the victim twice in the torso. Salerno collapsed at the door as he tried to escape. When the police arrived at the scene, Morato told them he had heard a pop and saw his friend on the floor near the door. However, when investigators analyzed bullet marks left on the wall, it was determined a gun was fired from the defendant’s bedroom.


The case was prosecuted by Senior Trial Assistant District Attorney Antonio Castro of the Homicide Bureau, under the supervision of Christine Scaccia, Chief of the Homicide Bureau, and under the overall supervision of James Brennan, Deputy Chief of the Trial Division, and Theresa Gottlieb, Chief of the Trial Division.


District Attorney Clark thanked Trial Preparation Assistant Kimberly Cameron of the Homicide Bureau for her assistance. District Attorney Clark thanked NYPD Sergeant Patrick Fyvie and NYPD Detective Richard Garcia of the 46th Precinct, NYPD Detective Barry Sullivan of the Bronx Homicide Squad and NYPD Detective Yanira Beltre of the Crime Scene Unit for their work on the investigation.

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