May 19, 2010
Imprisoned mob cop Louis Eppolito’s new attorney griped to federal appeals judges yesterday that the ex-NYPD detective wasn’t allowed to testify in his own defense after his trial lawyer threatened him by saying, “I would attack you if you take the stand.”
Eppolito’s appeals lawyer, Joseph Bondy, claimed that trial lawyer Bruce Cutler also botched the cop’s defense by not properly arguing that the prosecution of Eppolito for murders at the behest of the Luchese crime family was barred by the statute of limitations.
“It’s unheard of for a defense attorney to cede a crucial part of the case,” Bondy told the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan.
Co-defendant Stephen Caracappa’s appeals lawyer, Dan Nobel, told that panel that the ex-detective’s conviction should be reversed because of “prosecutorial misconduct” at the 2006 trial in Brooklyn.
Nobel said that prosecutors “overstepped their bounds” during closing arguments by claiming that a conversation between turncoat witness Burton Kaplan and another witness was the equivalent of a priest receiving someone’s confession.