The Chicago Syndicate: Mop Cop Will Make Case for Poor Defense

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Saturday, May 06, 2006

Mop Cop Will Make Case for Poor Defense

Friends of ours: John "Dapper Don" Gotti
Friends of mine: Louis Eppolito, Stephen Carappa

Mob cop Louis Eppolito will be allowed to air his gripes about his flashy former lawyer Bruce Cutler - who he says defended him poorly at his murder trial.

At the convicted killer's request, Brooklyn federal Judge Jack Weinstein ordered lawyers back into court June 29 to hash out the matter, including Cutler. "Defense counsel spent the majority of Mr. Eppolito's closing argument speaking about himself, including [that] he lost 14 pounds during trial," new lawyer Joseph Bondy said in a court document.

The ostentatious lawyer and client parted ways in late April after the conviction. Eppolito and Cutler had even argued about the defense, which lasted about 12 minutes.

Cutler, who also defended late mob boss "Dapper Don" John Gotti, didn't respond to a request for comment yesterday.

The hearing is unlikely to have an impact on whether Weinstein will throw out the conviction, because the judge has already hinted strongly that he would let an appeals court decide the matter. The murder conviction could be reversed due to statute-of-limitations considerations.

Eppolito and fellow mob cop Stephen Caracappa are to be sentenced on May 22. The pair face life in the slammer.

The two were convicted of committing a slew of gangland slayings in the late '80s and early '90s while wearing their shields, as well as dealing drugs in Las Vegas in 2004.

Thanks to Heidi Singer

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