Man sentenced to prison in murder of GR pizzeria owner

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A man, who admitted to fatally stabbing Grand Rapids pizzeria owner Joey Vitale inside his own restaurant last year, was sentenced Thursday to serve decades in prison.

Kent County Judge Mark Trusock sentenced Tony Streets Jr. to 50-100 years behind bars for stabbing Vitale inside Burton Heights Pizza in Grand Rapids back in October 2018. 

Investigators say Streets caused a disturbance inside the pizza restaurant and refused to leave. Witnesses say when Vitale tried to calm down Streets, he stabbed him.

tony streets september 2018 mug shot 100418_1538695089972.jpg.jpg
A September 2018 mug shot of Tony Streets.

After the stabbing, police say Streets ran from the restaurant, robbed a person in the parking lot and tried to steal a car.

After the attack, Vitale tried to drive himself to the hospital, but he crashed during the drive. Vitale died the next morning from his stab wounds.

In October, Streets pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and carjacking as a fourth-time felony offender.

Before learning his fate, Streets faced friends and family of Vitale as they delivered their message to him before he gets locked up.

Vitale’s wife, Christine, says she won’t let what he took from her family affect her, or her children’s life.

“You stole my husband from me and from my children one of the greatest dads from this earth, but you can never rob us of his spirit,” she said. “Even after all that you have taken from us, I promise I will never let my emotions cloud or steal a single moment of my life with my children.” 

Shortly after Vitale’s wife spoke, Trusock addressed Streets, in which he did not mince words.

“It’s my understanding that he would help people out, he would help feed people in this community, and what did you do? You were drunk, you took a knife, and you stabbed him and there is no excuse or justification for that,” Trusock said. 

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