Killers blasted over TV crime drama-style shooting
Two gun-toting brothers who shot a rival in the head in a standoff outside their suburban Melbourne home have been blasted by a judge for acting like they were living in a TV crime drama.
Supreme Court Justice Lex Lasry jailed Craig Leslie Williams and his half-brother John Godfrey on Friday over the "senseless" killing of Joshua DiPietro, 31, at Rosebud on Father's Day 2017.
"You both forgot you were not living in a TV crime drama ... and in the real world gun violence kills," Justice Lasry said.
The fatal shootout was spurred on after Williams - a white supremacist with "white pride" tattoos emblazoned over his arms - and Mr DiPietro faced off in a fight over Facebook.
Mr DiPietro had called Williams a "putrid dog" and threatened he was going to come over and shoot him.
"Bring it on," Williams responded.
When Mr DiPietro arrived with a carload of associates outside the brothers' family home on Ocean St on September 3, the pair raced outside with weapons drawn.
Williams had attached a torch to a .22 rifle, and Godfrey was wielding a handgun.
Mr DiPietro retreated to the car when he saw the armed men, telling them, "Put that away. Don't be silly."
Williams then fired into the car, and again as the driver sped off.
Mr DiPietro suffered a gunshot wound to the head and later died in hospital.
Justice Lasry said a victim impact statement by Mr DiPietro's mother Fiona detailed the devastation on families of a "senseless and fatal attack like this".
After the shooting, Williams quickly went on a mission to cover up the crime, removing the home's CCTV harddrive and dumping it, burying the handgun, and trying to saw off the barrel of the rifle.
Williams even asked a friend, who declined, to assault him to make it look like self-defence.
He later laughed when watching a TV news report on the shooting with his girlfriend.
When police came knocking, he holed himself up at the property in a 10-hour standoff with officers before being arrested.
Williams, 32, and Godfrey, 27, were both initially charged with murder, but pleaded guilty to manslaughter in a deal with the prosecution. Williams also pleaded guilty to reckless conduct endangering serious injury.
Justice Lasry said the shooting was a result of "several weeks of building tension" which began when Godfrey made remarks about Mr DiPietro to one of his associates.
When those comments got back to Mr DiPietro, he contacted Williams on Facebook messenger on August 9 demanding an apology from his younger brother, but they ended up in a war of words.
The court heard Williams had a shocking rapsheet dating back to 2003 and had already served time in prison.
Among his criminal record included offences of aggravated burglary, make threats to kill, reckless conduct endangering life and serious injury, and possession of weapons.
But his younger sibling was a cleanskin.
Williams was jailed for a total of 10 years, but will be eligible for parole after serving seven.
Godfrey copped a seven-year sentence, with a minimum of four years to serve.
Originally published as Killers blasted over TV crime drama-style shooting