Thursday, March 5th 2009, 2:53 AM
Dennis Hammil, NYDaily News

On Christmas Day 1986, the Mafia Cops had an innocent man named Nicky Guido murdered.

Friday at 2 p.m., Nicky’s older brother Michael Guido, 54, will sit in Brooklyn Federal Courthouse as former NYPD Detectives Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa are finally sentenced for the murders of his brother and seven others.

Eppolito and Caracappa were convicted of 70 felony racketeering counts in April 2006. Judge Jack Weinstein quickly vacated the verdicts on a technicality. Prosecutors appealed, and the convictions were reinstated.

“The sentence will bring closure for me and my mother,” Mike Guido says.

“But the door will always be ajar. Nicky’s murder killed my father from a broken heart. They’re buried side by side in Green-Wood Cemetery, three blocks from where Nicky was murdered.”

The Mafia Cops will probably spend the rest of their lives in 23-hour-a-day lockdown in a supermax prison.

“There’s an Italian expression, buono fortuna,” says Guido, a stagehand for a TV news program. “It means good fortune. I wish these two bastards long lives as the animals they are in the cages they deserve.

“That’s better than what they gave my brother and my family. Their families can visit them in jail every Christmas. We visit a gravestone. We haven’t had a real Christmas in 23 years.”

Not since that day in 1986, when the Guido family ate their mother Pauline’s homemade manicotti in their home on 17th St. in Windsor Terrace, a home paid for by their father, Gabe, who worked in an envelope factory in Bush Terminal.

After dinner, Nicky, a telephone company worker with his name on the FDNY list, asked his Uncle Tony to come outside to check out his new red Maxima.

Two gunmen stepped out of a dark car and marched to the red Maxima where Nicky sat behind the wheel showing his Uncle Tony the dashboard gadgets.

The gunmen opened fire. Nicky Guido proved what kind of fireman he would have been by throwing himself across his uncle as a fusillade of bullets shattered the windows.

His uncle survived. Nicky Guido didn’t. Problem was they killed the wrong Nicky Guido.

Eppolito and Caracappa, who were on a $4,000-a-month retainer from Luchese crime family underboss Anthony (Gaspipe) Casso, had accessed NYPD computers to get the address of a Nicky Guido who had been part of a rival mob family hit team that tried to kill Casso months earlier.

“If Eppolito and Caracappa had not passed my brother’s name and address by mistake to Casso, he’d be alive,” Mike Guido says.

After a cursory investigation, the Nicky Guido murder became another mob-related cold case.

“My father stopped eating, stopped caring,” Guido says. “He died the same day as my brother. It just took him three years to stop breathing.”

For 19 years, the murder stumped Mike Guido. Then, in 2005, he learned from TV news that new witnesses had fingered Eppolito and Caracappa as facilitating his brother’s murder and seven other mob hits.

“I was outraged to learn what these monsters were doing while wearing NYPD shields,” Guido says. “The City of New York has not yet said it is sorry to us for having these bums on the NYPD. The NYPD knew they were dirty for years. And did nothing.”

Guido’s mother, Pauline Pipitone, sued. The city has not made an offer to settle with this woman who lost her youngest son.

“The city lawyers are trying to run out the clock on an 82-year-old woman,” says Pipitone’s lawyer Mark Longo. “They are … hoping she’ll die before a trial can happen.”

“They deposed my mother twice,” says Mike Guido. “Grilling her like she did something wrong!”

Friday he will get some satisfaction.

“It will be gratifying to finally see these bums sentenced and led into the system, never to return. That will bring some kind of justice for my kid brother. As for those two Mafia Cops bums? Buono fortuna.”.