Vermeer's The Concert

Vermeer's The Concert

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Stolen Art Watch, Whitey Bulger FBI Handler Convicted of Murder, 2nd Degree !!

Miami jury convicts ex-FBI agent in 1982 killing
By CURT ANDERSON – 1 hour ago
MIAMI (AP) — Former FBI agent John Connolly has been convicted of second-degree murder in the 1982 slaying in Miami of a gambling executive with ties to Boston mobsters.

Jurors deliberated less than three days before delivering the verdict following a two-month trial. The jury acquitted Connolly of conspiracy.

Prosecutors said former World Jai-Alai president John Callahan was killed after Connolly warned gangsters that Callahan might implicate them in other slayings. Boston mob kingpins James "Whitey" Bulger and Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi were FBI informants handled by Connolly.

Connolly denied involvement in Callahan's killing. Connolly was convicted in 2002 of racketeering because of his relationship with Bulger and Flemmi.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

MIAMI (AP) — A Miami jury has reached a verdict in the case of a former Boston FBI agent accused of setting up the 1982 slaying of a gambling executive.

Jurors said they reached a verdict Thursday after deliberating less than three days in the case of ex-agent John Connolly. The verdict on first-degree murder and conspiracy charges was to be announced later in the day.

Connolly faces life in prison if convicted in the August 1982 killing of former World Jai-Alai executive John Callahan. Prosecutors said Connolly tipped Boston gangsters that Callahan might implicate them in another killing.

Connolly is already serving a 10-year federal prison sentence stemming from his association with Boston gangsters who were also longtime FBI informants.

However, this from earlier has left the door open for appeal

By Shelley Murphy, Globe staff

MIAMI -- Jury deliberations in the state murder trial of retired FBI agent John J. Connolly Jr. were interrupted briefly this morning when jurors discovered that a file containing documents that were not presented during the trial was accidentally left in the bottom of a cart containing other evidence they were reviewing.

Sixty-eight-year-old Connolly, his lawyers and prosecutors were quickly summoned to the courtroom around 11:30 a.m. and appraised of the slip-up after Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Stanford Blake received a note from the jury foreman asking if it was alright for the six-woman, six-man panel to review the contents of the file.

Defense Attorney Manuel L. Casabielle said he was compelled to ask for a mistrial, but the judge immediately denied his request.

The file contained excerpts of testimony from several witnesses who testified, various motions -- including one from the defense insisting that no "derogatory" terms be used to describe Connolly during the trial -- and portions of a deposition of a witness.

Jurors, who were called into the courtroom for questioning, said they had not reviewed any of the documents in the file. They said they saw the file in the bottom of the evidence cart and had just pulled the stack of documents out when they discovered a packet of blank yellow tags used to mark exhibits and wondered if the file had been mistakenly left there. They said they immediately sent the note to the judge.

When asked if any of them had reviewed the material in the file, the jurors unanimously answered, "No."

When asked if they saw anything that would affect their deliberations, they again answered no.

Blake told jurors they were not allowed to see the documents in the file, and sent them back to continue deliberating.

"I think it's clear they did not review it,'' said Blake, who reviewed the contents of the file and said, "There was nothing to look at that would be prejudicial to Mr. Connolly.''

Connolly is accused of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder for the 1982 slaying of Boston business consultant John B. Callahan.

He's accused of leaking information to longtime informants James "Whitey" Bulger and Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi that prompted the gangsters to enlist a hitman to lure Callahan to Florida and kill him.

Hitman-turned-government witness John Martorano testified that he reluctantly shot Callahan, former president of World Jai Alai, because he feared he would implicate him, Bulger, and Flemmi in a 1981 slaying they had done at his behest: the 1981 slaying of World Jai Alai owner Roger Wheeler.

After seven weeks of testimony, jurors deliberated for an hour Tuesday, all day yesterday, and resumed deliberations this morning.

Connolly, who retired from the FBI in 1990, faces life in prison if convicted. He's already serving a 10-year federal prison term for his 2002 racketeering conviction. He was found guilty of protecting Bulger and Flemmi from prosecution and warning the gangsters to flee just before their 1995 indictment. Seventy-nine-year-old Bulger, who is wanted for 19 murders, remains one of the FBI's 10 Most Wanted..

Art Hostage Comments:

"Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."

Winston Chrurchill,
Mansion House Speech November 1942

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