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

Monday, February 14, 2011

Defense Asks for Mistrial in Bronx Mob Hit Case

A lawyer for a man accused of a botched Bronx mob hit demanded a mistrial today when jurors asked that testimony be read back to them in private after being told "the family" would be in the courtroom.
Jurors in the case of accused trigger man Joseph Meldish had asked a Bronx Supreme Court judge if "the family" would be present — but did not say whether they meant relatives of Meldish, his co-defendant Kimberly Hanzlick, or of the dead man, Joseph Brown.
Prosecutors charge that the 54-year-old Meldish — a reputed member of the Purple Gang, a drug-dealing group tied to the Genovese, Lucchese and Bonanno crime families — had meant to wipe out Brown’s brother, Thomas Brown, in the mistaken identity attack.
Judge Troy Webber informed jurors "family" would be present for the read-back of testimony of the admitted getaway driver from the 1999 murder in Frenchy’s Tavern, jurors then asked through a court officer, "Can it be done in the back?" Webber told lawyers.
Meldish’s lawyer, Murray Richman, then told Webber, "I believe this is further indication of fear on the part of the jury. I move for a mistrial."
But Webber said, "It doesn’t appear to me that there is any fear . . . I’m going to let them know that the law does not allow a read-back to be done in the back. it has to be done in open court."
Jurors recessed for the day without reaching a verdict.


Post a Comment