Ronald Galati, 63, and Jerome Johnson, 45, face charges of of conspiracy, murder for hire and aiding and abetting the use of a firearm. They allegedly conspired with Ronald Walker, 48, of Philadelphia, and Alvin Matthews, 46, of Brookhaven, Pa., to shoot and kill an individual in Atlantic City on Nov. 30 of last year.
Johnson was also charged with transporting a firearm for use during the commission of a felony, transferring a firearm for use in a crime of violence and being a previously convicted felon in possession of a firearm.
Galati, the owner of American Collision & Automotive Center (American Collision) in Philadelphia allegedly threatened a victim not named by the attorney’s office in the kitchen of a Northfield restaurant during a dinner the two had with Galti’s friends and associates.
Galati and Johnson, one of Galati’s employees, asked Walker and Matthews to shoot and kill this person in a way that wouldn’t implicate Galati, according to documents filed in the case and statements made in court. Galati promised to pay them.
In November of 2013, Johnson, Walker and another person attempted to kill the victim at their Philadelphia home. After discovering the intended target wasn’t home, the third person vandalized the home.
On Nov. 29, Johnson gave Matthews a Colt .25 caliber semi-automatic handgun, and the next day, took Walker and Matthews to Atlantic City. They found the victim with a woman, and Walker shot the man repeatedly with the handgun. The victim survived the shooting. The woman was not hurt, per Johnson’s instructions.
The count of conspiracy to commit murder for hire and the murder-for-hire count each carry a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The count of conspiracy to possess and use a firearm during a crime of violence carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The count of aiding and abetting the possession and use of firearm during a crime of violence carries a mandatory minimum consecutive prison sentence of 10 years and maximum of life and a $250,000 fine.
The additional counts with which Johnson is charged, knowingly transporting a firearm for use during the commission of a felony, knowingly transferring a firearm for use in a crime of violence, and being a previously convicted felon in possession of a firearm each carry a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
On March 17, Matthews and Walker pleaded guilty to a three-count information charging them with conspiracy to use interstate commerce facilities in the commission of a murder for hire; use of a firearm, and aiding and abetting the use of a firearm, in furtherance of a crime of violence, and with being a previously convicted felon in possession of a firearm.
Sentencings for these pleas is scheduled for June 30.