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

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Former NY Mets player caught up in Jr. Gotti trial

A young John A. (Junior) Gotti with mob turncoat John Alite (on Gotti's right) in the 1980s.

John A. (Junior) Gotti is a vicious thug who once taunted a man he had stabbed - doing Porky Pig's "th-th-that's all folks!" as the man bled to death, prosecutors charged yesterday.

Moments before the Gambino heir's fourth racketeering trial got underway in Manhattan Federal Court, the judge said seven of the 18 jurors and alternates had made a last-minute appeal to be dismissed.

Four cited economic reasons, one medical - and two said they were too scared to sit in judgment of Gotti.

"Had a hard time sleeping all night," said Juror No. 8, a woman.

They were sworn in anyway.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Elie Honig opened the trial by stressing Gotti's brutality, saying he has "threatened, extorted, robbed, beaten, kidnapped, stabbed, shot and killed."

Losing no time in putting a knife in the defendant's hand, Honig described how Gotti gutted a man in a 1983 Queens bar fight, left the saloon, but then returned to gloat over the man as he bled out.

"He doubled back and taunted Danny Silva. He bled to death right there in that bar," Honig said.

A few months later, John Cennamo, a witness who had talked to cops about the stabbing, was found hanging from a low tree. Gotti "bragged about it, how they helped the kid hang himself," Honig said.

Prosecution witness Joseph Deluca recounted that he was an assistant equipment manager for the Mets in 1984 and a gambler when he went $34,000 in debt to Gotti henchman John Alite - including $7,000 borrowed from first baseman Keith Hernandez.

Alite roughed him up, then showed up with Gotti to discuss repayment with Deluca's parents, he testified.

Defense lawyer Charles Carnesi told jurors that while Gotti might once have been a Gambino captain, he went straight 10 years ago when he saw his father "dying of cancer away from his family alone in prison."

Gotti, 45, "made a decision that, 'Dad, I'm sorry, your life is not my life. This is not for me. I can't do this. I don't want this anymore,'" Carnesi said.

Gotti father, John Gotti, dubbed the "Teflon Don" because he kept beating the rap, died behind bars in 2002.

Honig said Junior, whose three previous trials ended in mistrials, was the Gambino "pointman" on how to beat a case.

Prosecutors hope things will change with their new star witness: Alite.

Alite's honesty - and hence, the federal case - came under fierce attack from celebrity private eye Bo Dietl, branded dirty by Alite. Dietl called him "a degenerate murderer" and a "fool" and offered to take a lie detector test to clear himself.


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