By Mitchel Maddux
April 30, 2012
The defense attorney for Colombo crime family street boss Thomas “Tommy Shots” Gioeli adopted a religious tone today in his final remarks to the jury, quoting Biblical and Talmudic passages with the authority of a religious scholar.
“Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies,” attorney Adam Perlmutter intoned, quoting Psalm 27.
“For false witnesses are risen up against me,” the attorney continued.
Those “false witnesses” are former mobsters who once were members of the Colombo crime family, who over the past six weeks delivered damning testimony at Gioeli’s trial implicating him in six brutal and carefully-planned Mafia murders.
Perlmutter implored the Brooklyn federal court jury to be careful in weighing the source of the evidence amassed against Gioeli.
“You must evaluate the credibility of these witnesses to decide if you can believe them,” the attorney said.
That’s when the spiritual tone evaporated in the silent courtroom, as Perlmutter described the ex-mobsters who testified against Gioeli as government witnesses, calling them “untrustworthy, unreliable, desperate individuals.”
“You know what else they are? Rats!” Perlmutter said of the FBI informants.
Furthermore, even if Gioeli admittedly was at the scene at one of the premeditated mob hits, the attorney argued, that doesn’t mean that he played a role in the killing.
“Simply because he was there, he is not guilty of that murder,” Perlmutter said.
The defense, however, skirted past several other relevant details that fall within the thematic outlines of a religious parable.
For example, the attorney has not mentioned the testimony from a close associate that Gioeli once plotted a ranking gangster’s murder in the same Long Island church garden where he regularly prayed.
Colombo underboss William “Wild Bill” Cutolo was eventually shot to death and buried in a Long Island field, prosecutors say.
There has also been no mention of the allegation that Gioeli once told a colleague that he believed he’s destined for hell, because of the role he played in the 1982 murder of a former Catholic nun.
Gioeli and another mobster fatally shot Veronica Zuraw with a stray shotgun blast in Brooklyn that was intended for two other mob associates, prosecutors say.
He was not charged with the former nun’s murder, but is currently on trial for a total of six other mob hits.