By Selim Algar
A Colombo crime family capo was sentenced to 12 years in prison Thursday for ordering a hit on a rival gangster — from his own grandmother’s wake.
Theodore “Skinny Teddy” Persico Jr. — nephew of notorious Colombo boss Carmine “The Snake” Persico — whispered his lethal order to Mafia soldiers at the Brooklyn wake in 1993. He had been let out of jail on furlough to pay his respects.
“You’ve got to kill Joey,” Persico (pictured) whispered to three Colombo cohorts at the wake, held at Scarpaci Funeral Home in Dyker Heights in August 1993, one of the mobsters, Anthony “Big Anthony” Russo, testified in 2012 against another of the soldiers, B.F. Guerra.
A handcuffed Persico — who was referring to renegade Colombo gangster Joseph “Joey” Scopo — ordered the hit as he sat in a room with both his grandmother’s body and three state jail guards who’d transported him from an upstate prison, Russo had said.
The brazen command led to Scopo’s assassination in front of his Queens home months later.
A seething Persico wanted Scopo dead because he had sided with a rival of his powerful uncle during a bloody struggle for family supremacy that raged throughout much of the 1990s.
Scopo aligned himself with then-acting boss Victor “Little Vic” Orena, who challenged Carmine Persico’s command.
In a surprise verdict, Guerra was acquitted of the Scopo killing, but was jailed last year for a slew of other mob-related activity.
Persico pleaded guilty in 2012 to conspiracy and extortion raps in exchange for the 12-year sentence on the Scopo hit.
Noting the relatively light sentence for a murder, Brooklyn federal Judge Sandra Townes told Persico he was fortunate to have such a skillful lawyer in Elizabeth Macedonio who negotiated the deal with prosecutors.
Persico nodded in agreement.
Before his prearranged sentence was handed down, Persico, 50, told Townes he has abandoned his life of crime.
“I want to assure you and promise you that I won’t be here again,” Persico muttered.
The vow came despite speculation he could be next in line to replace his jailed uncle as Colombo boss.
Carmine Persico, 70, is serving life for murder and racketeering.