Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Father Eugene Klein Pleads Not Guilty


Former prison chaplain Eugene Klein has pleaded not guilty to federal charges that he plotted with convicted Chicago mobster Frank Calabrese Sr. to recover a violin reportedly hidden in a hit man's Wisconsin house.

Authorities say Klein, 62, of Springfield, Mo., was released on $20,000 bond after he appeared in a federal courtroom in Chicago on Wednesday.

Klein administered daily communion to Calabrese at the Missouri prison where he's serving a life sentence for 13 murders. He's accused of passing messages with Calabrese and conspiring with two others to try to steal the violin the mobster believed was a Stradivarius worth millions of dollars.

Defense attorney Thomas Anthony Durkin says the case against his client is "preposterous."

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