MAYS LANDING — Six years after the murder of veterans advocate April Kauffman, the only person left alive who is charged in her murder will go on trial this week.

Opening statements for former Pagans motorcycle club leader Ferdinand “Freddy” Augello are scheduled to begin 9 a.m. Monday in Atlantic County Superior Court.

Augello, 62, of Upper Township, is charged with the 2012 murder of April Kauffman, conspiracy to murder Dr. James Kauffman and leading an opioid drug ring out of James Kauffman’s medical practice.

Authorities allege Augello, a longtime local signmaker, and endocrinologist James Kauffman, of Linwood, conspired to hire a hitman to kill Kauffman’s wife, April, to avoid both her exposing the doctor’s drug ring and a costly divorce.

Kauffman died in January in his Hudson County jail cell, two weeks after he was charged in her murder. Francis Mulholland, the hitman authorities believe killed April, died in October 2013 from a drug overdose in his home in the Villas section of Lower Township.

Here’s what we can expect as the trial gets underway:

Eight men and seven women were chosen after two days of jury selection Tuesday and Wednesday to make up the panel of 12 jurors plus three alternates.

Although there is no public schedule for the trial, Judge Bernard E. DeLury Jr. has said he expects the trial to take two weeks, Monday through Thursday, with a third week reserved for jury deliberations.

A preliminary witness list for both the defense and prosecution was released by the court Aug. 30, but it has since been updated. A request for a copy of the new list was denied. There’s no way to know when or even if a witness listed will take the stand. The witnesses are sequestered, meaning they cannot appear in court until they testify. Witnesses will likely include former co-defendants who have taken plea agreements in the case, as well as April’s daughter, Kimberly Pack. The defense said in court this week they plan to call an expert in cellular location.

DeLury put a gag order in place in July, which bars anyone associated with the case from speaking about it, including attorneys from both sides of the aisle.

There’s a good chance April Kauffman’s friends and family will be in attendance throughout the trial.

A few pieces of evidence have been revealed thus far through pretrial hearings, including the suicide note found in James Kauffman’s jail cell, testimony from April’s friends and family regarding her relationship with the doctor, recorded meetings between Pagan-turned-confidential-informant Andrew Glick and Augello, and records of payments to Glick from the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office.

Local and national media have shown great interest in the case and may pack the courtroom throughout the trial.

The case is being prosecuted by Chief Assistant Prosecutor Seth Levy. Attorney Mary Linehan is leading Augello’s defense.

Staff Writer

My beat is public safety, following police and crime. I started in January 2018 here at the Press covering Egg Harbor and Galloway townships. Before that, I worked at the Reading Eagle in Reading, Pa., covering crime and writing obituaries.

Staff Writer

I began covering South Jersey in 2008 after graduating from Rowan University with a degree in journalism. I joined The Press in 2015. In 2013, I was awarded a NJPA award for feature writing as a reporter for The Current of Hamilton Township.

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