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

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Violent Colombo captain to represent himself at upcoming trial

Teddy Persico Jr.
A violent Colombo capo who prosecutors say vowed to exterminate mob rats announced Friday that he will represent himself at his upcoming racketeering and murder trial.
Theodore "Teddy" Persico Jr., thinks he’s mastered the facts of the case better than any lawyer, so he’s going it alone, just like his uncle Carmine "The Snake" Persico did in the 1986 Mafia Commission trial.
Carmine Persico, 78, still the official boss of the Colombo crime family, was convicted and is serving a life sentence at a federal prison hospital in North Carolina.
While the elder Persico earned praise from the federal judge for his courtroom style, expectations are much lower for Teddy, who has a reputation for being more of a hothead than a scholar.
Next month, the jury will hear from turncoats that Persico Jr. wanted a list drawn up in 2010 of people suspected of cooperating so they could be rubbed out.
“Teddy said to give him the list . . . there is no doubt he is going out in a blaze,” prosecutors said in court papers.
One can only imagine how Persico Jr. will explain to the jury this ominous rant, captured on a secret tape recording: “I can get physical all day long. I got nothing to lose, I can get crazy, I don’t give a f---.
What are you going to do, put me in jail? I don't own nothing. I got no wife, I got no kids. I can act like a fool. . . . ”
The prospect of Persico Jr. acting as his own lawyer raises the reality TV show quotient of the trial. Prosecutors have alleged that his cousin and co-defendant, Michael Persico, may be romantically involved with his lawyer, Sarita Kedia.
Federal Judge Sandra Townes said the defendant has the absolute right to act as his own lawyer but questioned his motives.
“I could be wrong, but you want to handle your case because you want to cross-examine cooperating witnesses and you’re angry with them,” Townes said.
“You’re right on the first part,” Persico Jr. replied, “but I’m not angry with them; I’m just disappointed they’re lying.”
Persico Jr. 48, has spent most of his adult life in prison. He is charged with passing the order to kill a rival gangster while attending his grandmother’s funeral while on a prison furlough.
A court-appointed lawyer, Elizabeth Macedonio, will assist Persico Jr. on evidentiary matters.
The judge asked Persico Jr. how studying the federal rules of evidence was coming along. “Pretty well,” he said confidently.


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