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Reputed mob boss Raymond L.S. Patriarca congratulated hit man...

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Reputed mob boss Raymond L.S. Patriarca congratulated hit man Nicholas 'Nicky' Palmigiano on a 'good job' the morning after he completed a 1965 gangland execution, Palmigiano told a Superior Court jury Tuesday.

Palmigiano, the state's star witness, recalled a visit 16 years ago to Patriarca's Federal Hill office. It was the day after Palmigiano pumped three bullets into the head of small-time hood Raymond 'Baby' Curcio, he said.

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'Raymond (Patriarca) came out of his office with a cigar, and a smile on his face, and patted me on the back.' Palmigiano testified. 'He said I had done a good job.'

Palmigiano's testimony came in the second day of the murder accessory trial of Rudolph Sciarra, reputedly a top lieutenant to Patriarca, said to be the head of organized crime in New England.

'Patriarca told me not to hang around his office for a while because there would be a lot of 'heat' around there,' Palimigiano said.

Palmigiano explained that he had killed Curcio on Patriarca's orders. He said Sciarra had provided guns for that purpose, also acting on 'the old man's' words.

Curcio was killed, said Palmigiano, in revenge for an insult to Patriarca.

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'Sciarra told me the motive for killing Curcio a few days before the killing took place,' Palmigiano told a crowded courtroom. 'Curcio had broken into Patriarca's brother's house. A young girl had been in the house and Curcio had ripped the covers off her. Patriarca was upset.' Palmiagno said.

The woman was not identified.

Patriarca, 73, is charged with conspiracy and murder accessory in the Curcio slaying, but the ailing reputed mob boss isn't expected to stand trial until at least September.

The defense tried to discredit Palmigiano's damaging testimony in a stormy cross-examination session Tuesday afternoon.

Providence lawyer Joseph Bevilacqua Jr., a member of the defense team, was rebuked and quieted by Judge Francis Kiely during his emotional cross-examination of Palmigiano.

Bevilacqua introduced Palmigiano's long criminal record and also got him to admit to perjury before his 1969 murder trial.

'I pleaded not guilty then. Sure, I lied,' Palmigiano admitted, 'I may have been lying then, but I'm telling the truth here.' he said.

Palmigiano, 43, was expected to testify for the third straight day Wednesday. During the trial, he is being held at a secret location under the federal witness protection program.

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