Killer of L&B Spumoni Gardens owner sentenced to 24 years to life

L&B spumoni gardens
Justice in the works: Louis Barbati’s sister Camille McDonald and family friend Philip Gregory leave Brooklyn Federal Court on Nov. 3, 2016 after the arrangement of suspect Andres Fernandez.
Community News Group / Caroline Spivack

The man convicted of killing the owner of the legendary L&B Spumoni Gardens pizzeria in 2016 will face 24 years to life behind bars, officials announced Monday.

Andres “Andy” Fernandez, 44, was convicted of second-degree murder and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon in December 2019. 

Prosecutors said that Fernandez shot 61-year-old Louis Barbati outside of his Dyker Heights home during a botched robbery in June 2016. Fernandez waited for about an hour outside Barbati’s 12th Avenue house before the well-known restaurateur returned from his iconic Gravesend pizzeria at about 7 pm, officials said.

Barbati parked his car and began walking towards his house while holding a plastic bag with $15,483 in cash when Fernandez approached him and shot him multiple times on the corner of 12th Avenue and 76th Street, according to the Brooklyn district attorney’s office.

Police officer secure the intersection of 12th Avenue an 76th Street in Dyker Heights where Louis Barbati was murdered.Photo by Georgine Benvenuto

During Fernandez’s 2019 trial, a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent said that Fernandez could be seen on surveillance video putting on a black glove and holding a handgun, before walking across the street to confront Barbati and shooting him, investigators said. 

Cellphone records and eye witnesses also placed Fernandez at both the scene of the crime and at the pizzeria earlier in the day, according to investigators.

After the shooting, Fernandez fled without taking any money in an Acura. Prosecutors do not know why the shooter left the scene empty-handed, a spokesman for the Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said. 

Police officials released surveillance images of Fernandez, and he was identified by several witnesses, according to Gonzalez’s office. Federal authorities arrested Fernandez on November 3, 2016 — just over four months after the homicide.

Officials said at the time of his trial in November 2019 that he would be sentenced in January 2020. A spokesman for the district attorney did not immediately say why the sentencing was delayed. 

Correction [Oct. 27]: A previous version of this article said that Fernandez will face 25 years to life in prison. His sentence was actually 24 years to life. We apologize for the error. 

L&B Spumoni Gardens
Fernandez shot Barbati during a botched robbery, according to investigators.Courtesy of the District Attorney’s office