Saturday, November 06, 2010

Anthony Volpendesto Tossed from Court While Representing Himself

A federal judge ordered a defendant in a Chicago mob trial removed from the courtroom Thursday morning after the man threatened to have all the attorneys disbarred and loudly noted he did "not consent to any of these proceedings."

The disruption happened in the case of alleged Cicero mob boss Michael Sarno, who will soon stand trial with four other men, including Anthony Volpendesto, who created the disturbance and has been custody since his arrest.

Volpendesto is charged with racketeering for allegedly being part of a jewelry store robbery crew with ties to organized crime.

Volpendesto, who is not a lawyer, has filed numerous legal motions in the case on his own, which have advanced unique legal theories concerning his innocence or how the court has no jurisdiction over him. His attempts so far have not been successful.

Volpendesto referred to himself in court Thursday as "the executor of the Anthony Volpendesto estate" and repeatedly interrupted U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Guzman during a status hearing.

Volpendesto warned all attorneys in the room at one point, "either dismiss or disbar."

"I have no further business with this court," he said at another point, but continued talking anyway.

"I do not consent to any of these proceedings," he said, apparently unaware that his consent is not required.

The judge had deputy U.S. Marshals take Volpendesto away. He could still be heard chattering away in a holding cell as the door to the area opened and closed.

Volpendesto's talkativeness may come back to haunt him and some of the men on trial with him. He apparently made phone calls from jail after he was arrested for one of the jewelry store robberies, and prosecutors had indicated they will introduce recordings of some of those calls at trial.

Also on trial is Volpendesto's 87-year-old father, Sam, who is accused of helping bomb a video poker business in Berwyn in 2003 that was competing with a mob-sanctioned business. Prosecutors say Sam Volpendesto ran a Cicero house of prostitution and once had a suspected government cooperator beaten with a baseball bat, but he hasn't been convicted of either crime.

Guzman said he planned on having the younger Volpendesto brought over to the courtroom on Friday to remind him of the rules of conduct in court and work to obtain his cooperation during trial. If he refuses to come, deputy U.S. Marshals were ordered to use reasonable force to bring him.

Thanks to FoxChicago

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