Jury deliberates less than two hours
Six years of waiting, hours of wire taps and two weeks of trial ended in a quick verdict of guilty on all counts for the man now convicted of killing April Kauffman.
Ferdinand Augello, 62, now faces more than life in prison when he is sentenced Dec. 5.
In a closing in which he admitted even he didn’t like some of the witnesses against the defendant, Chief Assistant Prosecutor Seth Levy presented Augello as the one in control, plotting the death of April Kauffman to keep the money flowing in a Oxycontin ring led by him and Dr. James Kauffman.
“When you move the pawns out of the way, all you have staring back at you is Freddy crime wave, ‘Miserable,’ Ferdinand Augello,” Levy said. “The leader of a racketeering organization, hands dripping red with the blood of April Kauffman.”
The evidence as a whole was overwhelming, Levy said outside the courtroom after the conviction.
The jurors seemed to agree, spending less than two hours in deliberations, and asking no questions.
As the verdict was read, April Kauffman’s daughter began to cry, putting her face in her hands. She gave Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner a long hug before leaving the courtroom.
“I’m so emotional right now. So many mixed emotions. I really miss Mom, my best friend.” — Kimberly Pack
“I’m so emotional right now,” she told BreakingAC. “So many mixed emotions. I really miss Mom, my best friend.”
Augello decided not to testify on his own behalf in the trial.
But after the verdict, he had some final words before being led from the courtroom.
First, he turned to his supporters and gave a double thumbs-up: “I’ll be back,” he said.
“This is for the media folks,” he then said, as he was handcuffed by sheriff’s officers. “I did not kill Mrs. Kauffman nor did I pay anyone to kill Mrs. Kauffman. Joe Mulholland and his cousin killed Mrs. Kauffman.”
“We’re disappointed in the verdict,” Kauffman’s attorneys Mary Linehan and Omar Aguilar said as they walked from the courthouse Tuesday.
Linehan said they would appeal.
In her closing, she presented Augello as the fall guy for a group who “found themselves in trouble and started shoveling.”
Andrew Glick, the state’s key witness, pulled a con job on the Prosecutor’s Office, she said.
“Prosecution by multiple choice is not a becoming prospect,” she repeated several times during her closing, giving a nod to the change in a jury charge that opened up who could have killed Kauffman with Augello still responsible.
“When you move the pawns out of the way, all you have staring back at you is … hands dripping red with the blood of April Kauffman.”
— Chief Assistant Prosecutor Seth Levy
While Glick and several co-defendants may not be likeable as people, as witnesses their words were backed by the testimony of others and evidence, Levy said.
Glick recorded several conversations with Augello, including about a plot to kill Dr. Kauffman in the Atlantic County Justice Facility. Augello was convicted of that charges as well as leading a drug-trafficking organization.
The recordings eventually turned Levy to a final “important witness”: Augello himself.
“It’s hard to talk about this case without talking about him as a witness,” Levy said.
He then played a short compilation of the recordings. For the first time, those in the courtroom outside of the jurors saw the transcripts of what was said, as the printed pages were cast onto a screen.
“In less than five minute you hear this defendant admit to knowing James Kauffman… laughing about the killer being dead,” Levy said. ”You heard him say over and over again how he wants James Kauffman dead. (Telling Glick), ‘That would be helping me out.’”
A look back at the trial of Ferdinand Augello
A look back at the trial of Ferdinand Augello – BreakingAC
Closing arguments will be heard in the case against Ferdinand “Freddy” Augello murder and racketeering trial Friday. Judge Bernard DeLury will then charge them in the case, with a specific set of instructions decided upon after weeks of revisions and argument from both sides. Then, the pool of 16 that have sat through two full … Read more