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

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Gambino gangster opts to wear prison uniform during trial


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High-ranking Gambino gangster Bartolomeo Vernace is making sure no one will ever confuse him with the late crime family boss John Gotti, choosing to wear a prison-issued khaki shirt and pants for his racketeering and murder trial.

Meet the Un-Dapper Don.

High-ranking Gambino gangster Bartolomeo Vernace is making sure no one will ever confuse him with the late crime family boss John Gotti by choosing to wear a prison uniform during his racketeering and murder trial.

Gotti earned the Dapper Don nickname for his courtroom attire of custom-made Brioni suits.

When he was on trial, Gotti would even change his shirt and tie for the afternoon session.

Brooklyn Federal Judge Sandra Townes appeared puzzled to see Vernace, known by the nicknames “Bobby Glasses,” “Boboots” and “Pepe,” wearing the standard-issue khaki shirt and pants Tuesday for the start of jury selection.

Last week the judge signed a request submitted by Vernace’s lawyers seeking approval for him to wear clothing “appropriate for trial.”

Virtually every defendant being held in custody opts to wear regular clothing because prison garb might make them look guilty in the eyes of jurors. But defense lawyer Charles Carnesi told the judge that Vernace, 63, is sticking with government-issued duds.

“He wants to be as straightforward as possible and doesn’t want to create a false impression that he’s not in custody,” Carnesi told the Daily News.

Vernace, a capo who has served on the crime family’s ruling panel, is charged with the 1981 murders of two men who were shot to death in the Shamrock Bar in Woodhaven, Queens, after an argument erupted over a spilled drink.

Vernace beat the rap for the senseless killings after a state murder trial in 1998.

Key witnesses had recanted their identifications, including Linda Gotti, the niece of John Gotti and daughter of former mob boss Peter Gotti, who was dating one of the victims.

Vernace operated illegal rackets out of a café in Glendale, Queens.

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/gambino-gangster-bartolomeo-vernace-dons-prison-duds-federal-murder-trial-article-1.1280450


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