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

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Two booted off Junior's trial; mother escorted from court room

Two jurors were booted off the John "Junior" Gotti case this afternoon after the judge decided they would not be able to deliberate.
The decision by Manahattan Federal Judge Kevin Castel to remove Juror No. 7 and 11 came two days after those jurors got into a heated squabble.
The move prompted mob queen Victoria Gotti, Junior's mother, to shout, "This is a railroad job. Enough! Enough is enough! "They're railroading you, They're doing to you what they did to your father!" -- a reference to her late-husband, Gambino crime boss John "Dapper Don" Gotti.
As court officers tried to restore order, Junior shot back, "Please, mother. Please, mother. It's OK. I can handle it."
An out-of-control Victoria Gotti, no stranger to courtroom outbursts, screamed, "They're f-----g liars! They're the gangsters, right there!"
She continued sputtering as she was led out, yelling: "You sons of bitches! They're f-----g liars!"
On Monday, a fight nearly erupted between the two jurors when a young woman who's been accused of creating a "hostile environment" taunted a fellow panelist as a "hater."
Juror No. 11 told the judge she was "getting a lot of innuendoes" from Juror No. 7, who last week was the subject of an anonymous juror letter complaining about her foul mouth and pro-Gotti attitude.
During a private sidebar conference immediately following the incident, Juror 11 said Juror 7 was "asking that I did something," but that when she tried talking to her about it, was rebuffed with the comment: "I'd rather the phony people not speak to me at all."
"Then we went outside to have a break and she started singing: 'Hater, hater,' " Juror 11 said. "I'm going to take it personally, because apparently she has an issue with me, and it's very uncomfortable."
Juror 11, who works as a city procurement-contract analyst, then twice interrupted Castel as he urged her to calm down and give the situation some time.
Juror 7, who works for the US Postal Service, had been the subject of jury angst last week when an anonymous member of the panel mailed the judge a letter complaining about her.
"One of the black female jurors who sits on the first row from the bottom and the first seat that faces the defense team" – aka Juror No. 7 -- uses foul language and creates a hostile jury environment, gets mad if she doesn't have a prime seat and goes all googly-eyed for the defense team, especially Gotti's attorney Charles Carnesi, whom the "concerned juror" mistakenly referred to as "Charles Carneglia" – a notorious mob assassin – in the rant received by the judge.
The letter also said Juror 7 had ordered calamari to go -- on the court's dime -- after a recent lunch outing the jurors had taken at a lower Manhattan restautrant named Spaghetti Western.
Carnesi objected to the jurors being ejected, saying, "I think, frankly judge, that the letter was racially motivated."
But Castel disagreed.
"I think the court has been influenced by the letter," he said.
Legal experts had said the conflict involving Juror 7 has raised the possibility of a hung jury -- even before the start of deliberations.
Carnesi said the juror who wrote the letter should get the boot.
"Root out whoever wrote the letter," he said.
Outside the courthouse, members of the gotti family were stunned. While Junior's sister, Victoria, cried, her brother Peter said, "It's not about my brother. It's about justice."
Gotti's three previous racketeering trials all ended without verdicts.
Earlier in the day, a career criminal testified that the prosecution's star witness, mob turncoat John Alite, "hated" Gotti and that the former Gambino boss "didn't deserve the reputation that he had."
Matthew Morris, 36, who shared a prison cell with Alite in Florida for two weeks, testified in Manhattan federal court that Alite bragged to him that he had "a key" to get out of prison -- a reference to him dropping a dime on Gotti in exchange for a lighter prison term.
Morris, a convicted bank robber and drug dealer who appeared loopy on the stand and admitted he was taking Zoloft to combat depression, said Alite had no love for Gotti.
"He hated his guts," Morris said Alite told him when talking about the mobster. "He hated the Gotti family."
Morris said Alite told him that Gotti "didn't deserve the reputation that he had."
Alite also "had to do whatever he had to do" to get out of prison, according to Morris, who is doing time in a federal prison in West Virginia.


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