A 2nd man who stabbed a Jersey City politico to death before setting his apartment on fire in a 2014 murder for hire scheme was sentenced to 16 years in prison earlier today, U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger announced.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
George Bratsenis, 74, of Monroe, Connecticut, previously pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge John Michael Vazquez to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit murder for hire.
Bratsenis’ conspirators, Sean Caddle and Bomani Africa, previously pleaded guilty to their roles in the murder scheme. Africa was sentenced on February 23rd to 20 years in prison, while Caddle is scheduled to be sentenced on June 29th.
In April of 2014, Caddle solicited Bratsenis to commit a murder on his behalf in exchange for thousands of dollars. Bratsenis recruited Africa, a longtime accomplice from Philadelphia, to join the plot.
After Bratsenis confirmed his and Africa’s interest in the job, Caddle told Bratsenis that the target was a longtime associate who had worked for Caddle on various political campaigns – Michael Galdieri, a former city council candidate.
On May 22nd, 2014, Bratsenis and Africa traveled from out of state to the victim’s apartment in Jersey City. After entering the apartment, Bratsenis and Africa stabbed the victim to death and then set fire to the victim’s apartment.
After Caddle learned that the victim had been murdered, the following day, he met Bratsenis in the parking lot of a diner in Elizabeth.
Caddle paid Bratsenis thousands of dollars in exchange for the murder, and Bratsenis shared a portion of those proceeds with Africa.
In addition to the prison term, Vazquez sentenced Bratsenis to five years of supervised release.
Another former associate of Caddle, former New Jersey Senate staffer Tony Teixeira pleaded guilty to working with him to defraud campaigns and political action committees (PACs) out of $107,800 back in November.
While Caddle, who pleaded guilty in January 2022 and has been on house arrest ever since, was supposed to be sentenced last week, it was delayed for about another three months.
At their latest hearing, the government signaled that Caddle’s “cooperation … is really at a conclusion.”
Caddle’s political career began in Hudson County in the late 90s and one of his super PACs, the Committee for Economic Growth and Social Justice, had ties to Hudson County in 2014 – the same year that he had Galdieri killed – as only HCV reported.
Sellinger credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of special agent in charge James E. Dennehy in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing. He also thanked the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office for their assistance.