Thursday, June 16, 2011

John Gotti

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John Gotti went to trial in January 1990 for assault and conspiracy charges. He was charged in taking part in having John O'Connor shot four times in 1998. It has been said that Mr. Gotti held Mr. O'Connor responsible for Banker and Brokers being destroyed. The owner of Banker and Brokers is an associate of the Gambino family. The restaurant was destroyed because the associate did not hire union carpenters like Mr. O'Connor told him to do. Mr. Gotti was found not guilty on all charges. The inconstancy of evidence helped Mr. Gotti. The two problems in the case were in the taped conversations and the witnesses.

The first part of the evidence were the witnesses. There were two witnesses that testified during the trial, James McElroy for the prosecution and James O'Connor for the defense. Mr. McElroy testified in the trial to hope to get a reduced sentence. He told the court how he had meet Mr. Gotti in a small office at a wake with his friend James Connan. Over the next few weeks, he meet with Gambino members. Mr. Connan told him that Mr. Gotti wanted someone messed up. Mr. McElroy told the court that him and Kevin Kelly, a Westies, waited at the front of the building while Joseph Schlereth shot Mr. O'Connor. The second witness was John O'Connor, the victim. Mr. O'Connor testified that he had many enemies because of problems as chief official for the Manhattan Local 608 of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners. He was not able to tell who shot him, but he was able to get a glimpse of him.

The second part of the evidence were the taped conversations. There was a transcript of the tape from the Federal authorities and a transcript from the state Crews authorities. The tapes were of conversations between two Westies member that was taken at Rikers Island in the visitors room. It was testified that the recorders were behind a painting were the men were talking. The transcript from the state say Mr. Gotti was part of the shooting of Mr. O'Connor. During cross-examination, the defense tried to show that the state was trying to frame Mr. Gotti. The Federal transcript does not give the name of the shooter where as the state transcript says that Joe Schlereth was the one that shot Mr. O'Connor.

Mr. Gotti was found not guilty on four assault charges and two conspiracy charges. The evidence did not hinder him at all. If anything it helped him. Having Mr. O'Connor testify for him was a smart move by his lawyers. The testimony of Mr. McElroy did not matter. To the jury he was testifying to get out of prison early. One juror was quoted as saying, "Mr. McElroy to me was nor credible"(Raab). Some of the jurors had said that it was had for them to understand what was being said in the tapes. The prosecution thought they had great evidence but the defense was able to make the evidence look questionable. This was Mr. Gotti's third trial and the third time he was found not guilty. Some how Mr. Gotti is able to escape prison time. Perhaps it is because of all the power he has.

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