MAYS LANDING — A key witness in the murder-for-hire case against retired Pagans leader Ferdinand “Freddy” Augello has been receiving payments from the FBI and Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, and Augello’s attorney wants to know why.
“This witness is central to the case,” said Augello’s attorney Mary Linehan of former Pagans member Andrew Glick during a pre-trial appearance Monday before Judge Bernard DeLury.
Linehan asked that Chief Assistant Prosecutor Seth Levy detail why the payments were being made to Glick, who was a confidential informant for the prosecutor’s office, who helped deliver evidence against Augello leading up to his arrest in January.
“The payments came as a complete shock,” said Linehan, who learned of them Friday afternoon in a letter from the prosecutor’s office.
Levy indicated that the payments from the prosecutor’s office, which Linehan said averaged $2,000 monthly since January, were for security and relocation purposes for Glick. Levy did not know why the FBI made a $4,000 payment.
Linehan said that despite still lacking discovery in the case, including transcripts of interviews and recordings that the state plans to use during trial, Augello did not want to see his trial delayed.
Jury selection for Augello, 62, of Upper Township is set to begin Tuesday morning in the 2012 murder case of veterans advocate and radio host April Kauffman, 47. Augello was charged with murder in January along with April’s husband, James Kauffman, 68, who died in an apparent suicide two weeks later. Augello was also charged with conspiring to murder James Kauffman, as well as leading a drug ring out of James Kauffman’s medical office. The alleged hitman, Francis Mulholland, died in October 2013 from a drug overdose in his Villas home.
Monday was the second day of a pre-trial testimonial motion that included the state’s request to allow the hearsay testimony about April Kauffman’s desire for divorce and James Kauffman’s motive for killing his wife. DeLury approved the motion.
The state has alleged that James Kauffman wanted a hitman to kill his wife to avoid a costly divorce. According to the state, April had found out about James Kauffman’s alleged illegal activities through his medical office and threatened to expose him. In addition, the state believes that James Kauffman’s fake military service led to discord in the marriage.
Monday’s testimony included statements from April’s only daughter from her first marriage, Kimberly Pack of Linwood, who said she witnessed several instances of her mother and stepfather arguing about divorce.
Pack said that one day in 2007, she remembered stopping by the home at Woodstock Drive in Linwood to find the two arguing. She said James Kauffman told her, “Mom’s mad at me, she’s threatening to divorce me. I’m going to kill myself.”
“They just had a very unhealthy tumultuous relationship,” Pack said. “I don’t know if it was ever right, but it was getting to the point that it was unbearable.”
Pack also recalled what she said was James Kauffman’s most famous quote.
“He would always say he would kill her before she took half of his empire,” she said.
James and April Kauffman were married for about 10 years, Pack said, with Valentine’s Day being their anniversary. She said that in March 2012 before April was murdered, April confided in Pack about her concerns over James Kauffman’s stolen valor. She learned later in a disposition that James Kauffman, who claimed he was a Green Beret, had never served in the military.
Additionally, Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office Detective James Scoppa spoke about the interviews of state’s witnesses including Glick. Scoppa said witnesses gave differing motives for the killing: potential divorce, cheating from April, and James Kauffman’s drug ring being outed.
Linehan attempted to get more information regarding Glick’s initial arrest on Nov. 1, 2017, but after an objection from Levy, DeLury ruled that it was irrelevant. Scoppa did testify that he had a chance to interview Glick in July 2017 before his arrest and determined that Glick may have more information about April’s murder than he was giving.
“His reaction was not a full denial. It was a statement that made me believe that he had information but wasn’t necessarily involved,” Scoppa said.
DeLury said that the statements given by Scoppa and Pack show motive.
“Whether that’s believed, and whether that has any weight before the jury is a matter for the jury’s consideration,” DeLury said.
DeLury said he hopes to gain a pool of 15 jurors for the trial, with opening statements scheduled for Monday.Contact: 609-272-7251 CLowe@pressofac.com Twitter @clairelowe