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2 men plead guilty in Leonardo Rizzuto attempted murder

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Two men pleaded guilty to the 2023 attempted murder of Leonardo Rizzuto, the youngest son of the late reputed Mafia boss Vito Rizzuto.

Rizzuto's black Mercedes was sprayed with bullets while he was driving on Highway 440, near Highway 13 in Laval, on the afternoon of March 15, 2023. He survived the drive-by shooting with injuries to his leg.

Keven Rochebrun, 33, and Steve Emmanuel Barthelemy, 35, entered a guilty plea at the Joliette courthouse on Friday, CTV News confirmed.

Rochebrun, the shooter, pleaded guilty to attempted murder, being in a vehicle with knowledge of a prohibited firearm, and breach of a previous firearm condition. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison following a joint submission from the Crown and defence.

After being given credit for time already served in jail, he has just over eight-and-a-half years left to serve in prison.

Barthelemy, the driver, pleaded guilty to one count of discharging a firearm with reckless disregard for the life of a person and one count of being in a vehicle with knowledge of a prohibited firearm. The judge sentenced him to five years behind bars, but after taking into account his pre-trial detention, he has three-and-a-half years left to serve behind bars.

Both men were ordered to submit a sample of their DNA and are banned from possessing weapons for life.

After the attempted murder, the late mob boss' son managed to drive off the highway and park his car in the parking lot of the Yves Légaré Funeral Complex, near rue Principale. There, Quebec provincial police found the car with several bullet holes in the driver's side window.

The failed hit on Rizzuto was a "big" move, according to Mafia expert Antonio Nicaso. "Whoever decides to target Leonardo Rizzuto is most likely someone who wants to completely remove the Rizzuto crime family from the crime scene in Montreal," he told CTV News in a March 2023 interview.

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