MAYS LANDING — A Superior Court Judge said Thursday he wants to read Dr. James Kauffman’s suicide note before deciding whether to give it to the lawyer for the man charged with murder in the 2012 killing of his wife, April Kauffman.
Alleged Pagan’s motorcycle gang leader Ferdinand “Freddy” Augello, 62, of Upper Township, Cape May County, appeared before Judge Bernard DeLury for a status conference in Atlantic County Superior Court, where his lawyer requested a full copy of the note.
“One of our primary issues or concerns right now is obtaining Dr. Kauffman’s suicide note,” public defender Mary Linehan said. She said the defense received a copy, but all the writing on it was redacted.
“We’ll also be filing a motion to reveal a confidential informant,” she said. “Although this is public information that is already out there. It’s been in the media as well.”
Andrew Glick, identified by the Toronto Star as a former Pagan’s leader, told the newspaper he isn’t proud of his decision to turn state’s witness in the case.
“I preached never to do this (cooperate with authorities), but I never thought I’d be looking at 40 years,” Glick said in the Toronto Star report. “It would basically be life for me.”
Glick’s name did not come up in court Thursday. However, Chief Assistant Prosecutor Seth Levy said he will discuss revealing the informant with his superiors, but didn’t think there would be objection.
Kauffman died by apparent suicide in January in jail in Hudson County. Levy said the prosecutor’s office had received copies of the suicide note, but not the original, as it’s part of the jail’s investigation.
Augello is accused of hiring a hitman to kill April Kauffman — a move prosecutors say was motivated by her husband, Dr. James Kauffman’s, desire to hide an opioid drug ring he ran with Augello through his Egg Harbor Township medical practice. Augello pleaded not guilty during his arraignment April 19.
Augello has been indicted on charges of murder of April Kauffman, the attempted murder of James Kauffman and leading the alleged drug-trafficking network.
Levy said at Augello’s arraignment there is a plea offer for Augello on murder, attempted murder and racketeering charges.
Six other defendants in the case pleaded not guilty to charges of racketeering, distribution of drugs and conspiracy to distribute drugs as part of the drug ring:
Joseph Mulholland, 52, of the Villas section of Lower Township
Beverly Augello, 48, of Summerland Keys, Florida
Glenn Seeler, 38, of Sanford, North Carolina
Paul Pagano, 51, of Egg Harbor Township
Tabitha Chapman, 35, of Absecon
Cheryl Pizza, 37, of Murrells Inlet, South Carolina
Those defendants were previously released from jail by DeLury pending trial, while Augello remains in the Atlantic County jail in Mays Landing.
Levy said they were all offered plea deals for first-degree racketeering, which could carry a maximum sentence of 20 years. Pagano, Mulholland, Chapman and Seeler have status conferences scheduled for June 14, along with co-defendant Beverly Augello, the ex-wife of Ferdinand Augello. Pizza is scheduled for a June 13 conference.
Augello’s next status conference is scheduled for 9 a.m. June 21.