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A right-wing radio personality will be heading to Brooklyn to defend himself against accusations that he threatened to kill three Chicago federal appeals judges that had thrown out suits challenging hand gun bans in the Windy City.
Officials said that the case against Harold “Hal” Turner will be held in Brooklyn Federal Court in the next few weeks.
Turner’s defense team asked for the change of venue %u2013 a rarity among federal cases %u2013 because they felt that the underground radio personality and blogger wouldn’t get a fair trial in the court where his alleged victims preside over cases.
Brooklyn was chosen because it was close to Turner, who actually lives in New Jersey, although he broadcasts to over 70 countries, according to the New York Daily News.
According to published reports, Turner was indicted for threatening to kill Federal Appeals Court judges Frank Easterbrook, Richard Posner and William Bauer because they denied appeals that would rescind anti-gun bans already on the books in Illinois.
The threats, which were found on Turner’s web site this past June, were actually quotes from founding father Thomas Jefferson, who said, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
“If they [the judges] are allowed to get away with this by surviving, other judges will act the same way,” he wrote. “These judges deserve to be made such an example of as to send a message to the entire judiciary: Obey the Constitution or die.”
The judges’ ruling, he claimed, “demanded the ultimate response.”
He had also posted the work addresses, phone numbers and photographs of the judges, the indictment states.
“Behold these devils,” he wrote.
The posts have since been removed.
Turner’s attorneys said that their client never meant to threaten anyone and that his comments were merely the radio personality persona he assumes each night.
On Thursday, Brooklyn’s federal courthouse was packed with the family members of four victims that reputed Gambino soldier Charles Carneglia was convicted of killing.
It was also filled with people who knew the victims that Carneglia allegedly killed, but was not convicted for.
The Federal Court galley was teeming with court officers as Carneglia, 63, was sentenced to life for the murders of Michael Cotillo, a 25-year-old mob associate that Carneglia stabbed in the heart, and Jose Delgado Rivera, an armed security guard who Carneglia allegedly shot in the back during a hold-up at JFK International airport in 1990, as well as two other slayings he committed in the last 30 years.
Family members for Court Officer Albert Gelb were also allowed to speak, although Carneglia was never convicted of killing the 27-year-old.
The case against Carneglia for the murder of Gelb ended in a hung jury, although prosecutors believe that Carneglia was the one who had killed the court officer four days before he was supposed to testify against him in a gun case back in 1976, officials said.
Gelb’s family members were able to give victim impact statements on the grounds of “relevant conduct.”
Addressing Carneglia directly, Gelb’s sister told the mobster that he had “no soul,” according to published reports.
“You have never shown remorse. I ask that they lock you in a cage fit for the animal that you are,” she said. “That you never see the light of day. And you never see another person. Where you can live out your life in a filthy sewer where people like you belong.”
Despite the evidence against him, Carneglia’s attorneys asked Judge Jack Weinstein for leniency, claiming that their client had come down with emphysema. They also said that Carneglia has not been in contact with the mob since the slayings, some of which took place over 20 years ago.
Carneglia even spoke, claiming that he was set up and that all of the evidence against him came from “liars” and government informants.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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