Thursday, March 16, 2006

Junior Gotti: They're breaking me

Friends of ours: Junior Gotti

John "Junior" Gotti, facing another retrial on racketeering charges this summer, is struggling financially to fight the charges, his lawyers say.

A second jury deadlocked last week on charges alleging the 42-year-old son of the late mob boss arranged the brutal beating of Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa.

U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin set a July 5 date for another retrial after Gotti lawyer Charles Carnesi said Monday that his client needed time to borrow money to pay his legal team. Prosecutors, however, argued that Gotti wants to sell property paid for with crime proceeds, and the judge set a schedule for both sides to argue the fates of several properties before trial.

Sliwa attended the brief court proceeding several hours after announcing on his radio show that he had calmed down since saying last week that his WABC-AM co-host, Ron Kuby, was no longer his friend. Kuby, who represented a Gotti co-defendant in the 1990s, had been called to testify that Gotti told him in 1998 he wanted out of organized crime. After the mistrial, Sliwa said he was so angry at Kuby he wasn't sure he could do the show anymore.

The two were more cordial on the air Monday. "There's not going to be a train wreck," Kuby said. Sliwa, later in the show, said: "Things are getting a little better. In fact, Ron is going to get me a hot cup of tea."

Gotti, free on bail with electronic monitoring, insists he did not order the attack on Sliwa.

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