The Chicago Syndicate: Anthony Comello, Alleged Mob-Boss Killer of Francesco "Franky Boy" Cali, Has Court Case Adjourned Until June
The Mission Impossible Backpack

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Anthony Comello, Alleged Mob-Boss Killer of Francesco "Franky Boy" Cali, Has Court Case Adjourned Until June

The pretrial conference for alleged mob-boss killer Anthony Comello has been pushed back six weeks. The conference was originally scheduled for next Monday in state Supreme Court, St. George.

However, since mid-March, efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease have severely curtailed court operations in cases considered non-essential. There have been no new jury trials. The conference is now scheduled for June 1, online state court records show.

At Comello’s last court conference on Feb. 7, Justice William E. Garnett said he anticipated holding a final status conference on April 20 and possibly setting a trial date.

Defense lawyer Robert Gottlieb had said then he has four other trials scheduled in the coming months in various jurisdictions that may occupy him through June.

In view of coronavirus restrictions at both state and federal courthouses, it is unclear how many, if any, of those cases have gone to trial or been otherwise resolved.

Prosecutors allege Comello, 25, fatally shot Gambino crime family boss Francesco (Franky Boy) Cali, 53, outside Cali’s Dongan Hills home on March 13, 2019. Comello is charged with murder and criminal weapon possession.

Authorities have not publicly commented on a possible motive.

In court papers, Gottlieb contends Comello was deluded by conspiracy theories and was defending himself when he shot the victim.

In a videotaped interview with a detective after his arrest, Comello gave conflicting and sometimes bizarre accounts of the shooting during the course of the three-and-a-half-hour interrogation.

In fact, at the end of the February court conference, he launched into a strange, rambling 20-second monologue in which he said his phone had contained information on human sex trafficking and drug smuggling. Then, in quick succession, Comello referenced Australia, Russia and Ukraine, as well as “Operation Mockingbird,” without further details.

The latter is an alleged large-scale CIA program dating to the 1950s which attempted to manipulate the news media for propaganda purposes.

Meanwhile, the defendant appears to have undercut the viability of a potential insanity defense. At the February conference, Gottlieb said the Eltingville resident refuses to be examined by prosecutors’ psychiatric expert. The defendant’s failure to submit to the exam would preclude his own psychiatric experts from testifying at trial. But, lay witnesses could offer psychiatric testimony.

Thanks to Frank Donnelly.

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