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

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Judge to decide on ailing Bonanno captain's request for home confinement

Supreme Court Justice Mark Dwyer could decide on Monday if alleged Bonnano crime boss Nicholas Santora will be released on home confinement, the judge said during proceedings Thursday in Manhattan Supreme Court.
Mob Nicholas Santora seen here in 2007. 
Santora, who has been incarcerated for almost three years on enterprise corruption charges, was transferred to Bellevue Hospital last week.
The defendant, along with his three alleged Bonanno associates -- Anthony "Skinny" Santoro, 52, of Great Kills, Vito Badamo, 53, and Ernest Aiello, 36 -- are on trial for enterprise corruption after they were busted in July 2013.
Santora's attorney, Michael Alber, had previously asked the court for bail and home confinement after the 73-year-old's family noticed a deterioration in his health.
During a hearing Thursday, two medical experts testified about the mob defendant's condition and, specifically, his history of falls and whether that has led to a traumatic brain injury.
Dr. Alan Engelman, the expert for the prosecution, examined Santora last week, and found him to be alert, aware, engaging, focused and even jovial. He also noted that there were no signs of concussive injuries from the falls.
"He was good-humored- he made some jokes," Engelman said. "His mental status was normal. His memory was normal. There is no evidence of psychiatric impairment or cognitive impairment. He has not hurt himself irreversibly due to the falls — at least not to his brain."
The defense argues otherwise. Alber claims his client has a myriad of symptoms, including trouble concentrating in court, dizziness, blurred vision and poor nutrition.
Santora has had  at least a dozen falls, including two recently. This week, the lawyer said, Santora fell while at Bellevue and was found face down. A couple of months ago, the defendant flipped out of his wheelchair during a Department of Corrections transfer.
Dr. Jason Chamikles, a family practitioner, testified for the defense after examining Santora earlier this month. It was his opinion, he said, that the defendant had a "possibility of traumatic brain injury based on the falls."
"Each fall can worsen the condition," Chamikles said. "The risk of each concussion can cause possibility of brain injury. The falls have persisted despite location- including Bellevue."
The state claims Santora, who is nicknamed "Captain Crunch," is the crime family's alleged ringleader. The prosecution says he was in charge of an Internet gambling site, sold prescription drugs, such as oxycodone and Viagra, on the black market, and the other three defendants were his underlings.
Santora inspired the character played by the late Bruno Kirby in the 1997 film "Donnie Brasco."
Testimony resumes Monday.



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