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

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Mistrial granted against the Bonanno crime family

After almost three years, a nearly three-month trial and eight days of deliberations, the case against four Bonanno mob suspects ended in a mistrial Tuesday in state Supreme Court in Manhattan.
"I think it's unfortunate that it ended this way," said defense attorney Adam Konta, who represents Anthony "Skinny" Santoro, the Great Kills man accused of being part of the Bonanno crime family.
Supreme Court Justice Mark Dwyer granted the defense's request for a mistrial after juror No. 9 told the court the rest of the jury was not considering his opinions, and felt they were only worried about getting a guilty plea.
"I can't go on at this point," the juror told the court. "They're not listening to me. I can no longer sit there and listen to them anymore. I want to make sure what I render is just, not just because we don't want to be here anymore or we've been here for three months."
The shocking development came after Dwyer dismissed juror No. 1 from the jury  based on the panel's concern that he wasn't able to hear any of the wiretap calls played during deliberations.
A few jurors sent a note to the judge alleging that juror No. 1 said he was unable to hear the calls and refused to use the transcript binders for fear they were tampered with. The binders, the judge instructed the jury, are not evidence.
Dwyer brought in each juror individually to specifically ask about juror No. 1.   Several expressed their concerns that he indeed said he couldn't hear the recordings.
"It's a little bit frustrating because we're trying our hardest," one of the jurors said.
"He was able to hear just fine," juror No. 9 said. "He just kept getting attacked and they didn't like his responses."
However, when asked if he was able to follow the evidence, juror No. 1 said, "Yes."
After the dismissal, juror No. 9 asked to speak to the court and said he was "pissed" juror No. 1 was dismissed, and added that the two of them were ganged up on because they disagreed with the rest of the jury.
"We were in the minority on this," juror No. 9 said. "We've been getting attacked on stupid things because we don't see eye to eye. It's not guilty until proven innocent, it's innocent until proven guilty."

The skinny on 'Skinny' --  Man at center of mob trial
Anthony "Skinny" Santoro, the alleged Staten Island Bonanno mobster, has been portrayed with these conflicting -- yet fascinating -- personalities.
Santoro, 52, and his alleged Bonanno co-defendants -- Vito Badamo, 53, Nicholas Santora, 73, and Ernest Aiello, 36, -- are accused of enterprise corruption, including loansharking, gambling and drug dealing, after authorities reportedly busted the family's nine-man crew in July 2013.
The defendants were charged with enterprise corruption, grand larceny in the second-degree and first-degree criminal usury.
There will be a conference Wednesday to determine how the case will proceed. The defense is expected to ask for bail. The defendants have been incarcerated for nearly three years.
The prosecution can retry the case, make a plea deal or dismiss the charges, but intends to redo the trial.
"The inability of one juror to continue deliberating is not a reflection on the overall strength of the case," said Joan Vollero, director of communications for the Manhattan district attorney's office. "We thank the jury members for their service, and expect to notify the court tomorrow of our intention to retry the case."
"There was no real evidence 'Skinny' was part of the crew of the Bonanno family," Konta said. "I look forward to continue fighting for 'Skinny.' "
Santoro, however, has a pending federal case after pleading guilty to operating an illegal gambling business as part of a local Bonanno crime crew in Connecticut. In 2013, he was sentenced to eight months and arrested in the Manhattan case before he could serve that time.
The three years he spent in prison does not count toward that sentence, Konta said.
A few of Santoro's family members, who have been in court every day during deliberations, left the courtroom in tears.



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