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The long-delayed case against pugilistic state Sen. Kevin Parker (D-Flatbush) may be brought to a jury before the end of the month.
During a pre-trial hearing on Thursday, Judge Neil Firetog told attorneys handling the case he expects the trial to begin by Nov. 29.
A final meeting to discuss the case was scheduled for Nov. 22 — after Lonnie Hart, Parker’s attorney, reviews some X-ray evidence the special prosecutor overseeing the case just made available.
Parker is charged with attacking New York Post photographer William Lopez outside of his East Flatbush home in 2009. The legislator allegedly injured the shutterbug’s finger during the clash. The X-rays Hart received were of Lopez’s hand and arm.
The legislator’s alleged tendency to think with his fists is well documented: he was arrested in 2005 for punching out a traffic enforcement officer, but the charges were dropped when Parker agreed to take anger management classes.
Since taking those classes, he’s been accused of roughing up a female aide and wigged out at a recent Senate hearing, calling Republicans “white supremacists.”
The 2009 attack was expected to go to trial this summer, but the case hit a snag in August when it was revealed that a prosecutor in the same bureau handling the case was the son of Wellington Sharpe, the man challenging Parker in the Democratic primary.
Assistant DA Wynton Sharpe never touched a scrap of paper relating to the case, but Kings County District Attorney Charles Hynes thought the connection would raise questions of impropriety and asked Judge Firetog to bring in a special prosecutor from Staten Island.
That shelved during this year’s primary, where Parker earned 73 percent of the vote.
Parker is expected to win handily over Republican Jeffrey Lodge and Conservative Brian Kelly in the heavily Democratic Flatbush district on Nov. 2.
Yet Parker could soon find himself out of a job: if convicted he faces seven years in prison and would be removed from the Senate.
Altar boy mobster cries at release
A federal court judge let a top Bonnano crime family songbird fly free — in the witness protection — Friday after serving just seven years in prison, even though the gangland rat had copped to committing 11 murders.
During a sentencing in Brooklyn Federal Court, Salvatore “Good Looking Sal” Vitale cried before Judge Nicholas Garaufis, apologizing for all the violence he’s committed.
“I pray daily for every soul,” he told the judge as he wiped away his tears. “I have committed some really horrible crimes, which I will always be ashamed of. I am truly, truly sorry.”
Because Vitale turned on the Bonnanos and was instrumental in helping the FBI crack the crime family in half, Garaufis sentenced Vitale to time served while providing him with the protection of the government for the rest of his life.
“He will live the rest of his life as a notorious and endangered prisoner in a cell of his own creation, targeted by the very criminal organization of which he was once a leader,” Garaufis explained.
FBI officials said Vitale provided them with “invaluable” intelligence and helped them arrest 51 mobsters, including Vitale’s own brother-in-law.
The light prison sentence was part of a plea deal Vitale hammered out with federal prosecutors after he was arrested in 2003.
Vitale’s attorney, Brian Waller, told Judge Garaufis that the former mob hit man spent his time in prison going to anger management classes and was an altar boy during prison church services.
But while Judge Garaufis and the FBI are satisfied with the plea deal, the relatives of Vitale’s victims were not, according to the New York Daily News, a Manhattan newspaper.
During the hearing, Nicki Laronga, daughter of slain Bonnano associate Robert Perrino, demanded that Vitale get some considerable jail time.
“Not until he was arrested and possibly facing life in prison did he show any sense of remorse,” Laronga wrote.
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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