Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Gotti jury requests transcript of prison tapes

The jury in John "Junior" Gotti's gangland murder and racketeering trial asked Thursday for transcripts of prison tape recordings used by the prosecution and defense in the first substantive note since the panel began its deliberations.
Jurors already had the audio of the recorded conversations - including some of Gotti with his father, the late Gambino family boss John J. Gotti, and some with other alleged mob associates - and U.S. District Judge Kevin Castel quickly agreed with lawyers for both sides to provide the transcripts to help the panel decipher the often unintelligible dialogue.
The various tapes are subject to different interpretations: Prosecutors say that some show Gotti conducting mob-related business and trying to hang on to power after he was imprisoned in 1999, while the defense has used others that it claims show Gotti's desire to quit the mob after he was imprisoned. Some of the tapes played a prominent role in closing arguments.
After a seven-week trial, the jury got the case at 1 p.m. on Wednesday. Jurors deliberated from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday without appearing in the 26th-floor courtroom, and will return at 10 a.m. Friday for another day of work. Castel revealed that Juror 1 on the anonymous panel, a court clerk, has been chosen as foreperson.
Gotti, 45, of Oyster Bay, is charged with participating in a wide-ranging mob racketeering conspiracy dating back to 1983, and two drug-related murders in 1988 and 1991. He claims he quit the mob in 1999.
Three previous racketeering trials of the mob heir ended in hung juries in 2005 and 2006. Those juries deliberated for between three and eight days.



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