Saturday, September 08, 2007

Mob Trial Judge Helps Jury Define 'Intimidation'

The jury in the Family Secrets mob trial is taking it easy. On Thursday, the 12 men and women told the judge they will not deliberate tomorrow.

CBS 2's John "Bulldog" Drummond reports, the jury worked about six hours today. There was a flurry of activity at the Dirksen Federal Building, however, when the jury sent a note to Judge James Zagel asking for a definition of the term "intimidation."

The Bombay Company, Inc.One of the biggest victims of intimidation was local pizza king James Stolfe, chief executive of Connie's. Prosecutors contend that defendant Frank Calabrese Sr. shook down Stolfe for more than $200,000 over a 20-year period. And the government argues that other defendants, including Joey "the Clown" Lombardo, were also not pikers in extorting victims.

Five defendants in the case are accused of engaging in a racketeering conspiracy including 18 murders, illegal gambling, loan sharking and extortion.

The defendants' lawyers were summoned to the courthouse to iron out what the word "intimidation" means to the jury. But it was Zagel who became a local Funk and Wagnalls and crafted what is intimidation.

"An act of intimidation occurs when a person communicates to an individual a threat to inflict physical harm to an individual or to propert," Zagel said.

The jury will resume deliberations on Monday.

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