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

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Mob boss gets cold feet and wont testify in own defense at trial

Former Colombo crime boss Thomas "Tommy Shots" Gioeli told a judge he wanted to testify in his own defense Tuesday — then chickened out an hour later.
Gioeli raised the specter of taking the stand while the jury was out of the courtroom in the morning but said he needed time to prepare.
“I don't want to jump into a cold pool. I'm not an attorney,” he said.
“But I've been saying from day one that I'd like to testify . ... I think my attorneys did an excellent job but there was very little input (from me) at the end. I want to be part of the defense."
He asked for an hour and Federal Judge Brian Cogan granted the request.
But after an hourlong huddle with his lawyers about the risky legal maneuver, they apparently talked him out of it.
“I do not want to testify,” Gioeli curtly declared to the court shortly after 11 a.m.
Asked later if there’s trouble in Team Gioeli, lawyer Adam Perlmutter said, “I will convey that question” and stalked off.
Gioeli, who has been charged with six murders, has hardly been a quiet observer during the trial. Several times, he has heckled witnesses from the defense table.
One of his targets was his cousin Thomas McLaughlin, who was presented as a defense witness — and then testified that Gioeli approved a 1991 rubout.
“Stop drinking,” Gioeli snapped at McLaughlin.
One person who has taken a vow of silence is a mysterious priest who calls himself "Father Peter" and who returned to the trial after a three-week absence.
He took his usual position in the front row, sitting next to Gioeli's wife, where the jury could see him in his black suit and collar.
"I'd rather not say anything," he said when asked about his ties to Goieli. "Let's leave it at that."


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