A former Democratic political consultant from New Jersey was handed down a 24-year federal prison sentence Thursday after being convicted of hiring two hitmen to kill a colleague.
Sean Caddle, 45, pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit murder-for-hire in the killing of Michael Galdieri, whose apartment was set on fire after he was fatally stabbed in 2014. Though Caddle admitted to the killing, U.S. District Judge John Michael Vazquez sounded skeptical of his acceptance of any responsibility.
He said it sounded as if Caddle was trying to “save his own skin” by cooperating with prosecutors.
“This is one of the most unusual and certainly one of the most heinous crimes I’ve encountered as a judge,” Vazquez said.
Caddle did not comment on the sentence after the court proceeding. Two of Galdieri’s relatives, who declined to give their names, stood in the courtroom as one read a statement from the family.
“How could I effectively articulate the impact that it has on you, that your brother was murdered and his apartment set on fire?” the woman said.
She said she felt “complete stupidity and regret” over crying in Caddle’s arms after her brother’s death and that she thought he was a friend of the family’s.
Caddle told prosecutors he wanted Galdieri dead because Galdieri was threatening to extort money from him in exchange for not exposing wrongdoing Galdieri claimed Caddle committed through his political consulting business.
One of two ex-convicts who pleaded to a Connecticut bank robbery in 2014 assisted prosecutors when he told them about a murder that occurred that same year. George Bratsenis was later sentenced to 16 years and Bomani Africa to 20 years after they ultimately pleaded guilty to helping Caddle with the murder.
Caddle asked Bratsenis if he could find someone to commit murder for $15,000, Bratsenis said.
Caddle said he wanted Galdieri dead within a month and gave Bratsenis up to $4,000 upfront, according to prosecutors. On May 22, 2014, the Bratsenis and Africa drove together to the apartment of Galdieri, who had been expecting Bratsensis because they had discussed robbing drug dealers together, authorities said.
He was fatally stabbed in his home and the residence was doused with gasoline and set on fire.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.