MAYS LANDING — Joseph Mulholland said he was scared of Ferdinand “Freddy” Augello, which is why he agreed to drive alleged hitman Francis Mulholland to Linwood in the early morning hours of May 10, 2012, to kill April Kauffman.
“He told me if I didn’t drive him, I was dead,” Joseph Mulholland told jurors Monday. “I feared for my life.”
Joseph Mulholland, 52, of the Villas section of Lower Township, was the third witness to take the stand Monday for the start of the second week of the April Kauffman murder trial. He was charged with racketeering in the case and was the first co-defendant to take a plea agreement in exchange for testimony during the trial.
Augello, 62, of Upper Township, is charged with the murder of April Kauffman, conspiracy to murder April’s husband, James Kauffman, and leading a drug distribution network out of James Kauffman’s medical office. He has maintained his innocence.
James Kauffman, 68, who was also charged in the death, died in jail in January. Francis Mulholland, 46, of Villas, the alleged hitman, died from a heroin overdose in October 2013.
Joseph Mulholland’s testimony Monday detailed the events that led to the early morning killing of veterans advocate and radio host April Kauffman, 47, as well as his relationships with Augello, Francis Mulholland and James Kauffman.
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Andrew Glick, 53, of Egg Harbor Township, is a local chef and reported Pagans member known as “Chef” who, according to a report by the Toronto Star, was a confidential informant who led investigators to Augello. He was arrested last November on narcotics charges, but that case never proceeded. The search warrant related to the murder case states the State Police narcotics task force had an active investigation involving Glick since May 2017.
Barbara Greenling, of Egg Harbor Township, is the nurse practitioner from Kauffman’s medical practice and now works at Reliance Medical Center. Greenling also made the pronouncement of death for alleged hitman Francis Mulholland at his Villas home.
Beverly Augello, 48, of Summerland Key, Florida, center, appears with attorneys Hal Kokes and Meg Hoerner to plead guilty in exchange for testimony. She was a co-defendant in the case and Freddy Augello’s ex-wife. Beverly Augello, who remained her ex’s business partner after their divorce, was charged with racketeering for her alleged role in an opioid drug ring run out of Dr. James Kauffman’s medical practice. She also allegedly delivered money from the medical office to her ex-husband after April was killed.
Daniel Garabrant of the FBI, who is a lead investigator in the murder case of April Kauffman.
Dr. James Kauffman appears with attorney Ed Jacobs at the Atlantic County Courthouse in Mays Landing. Jacobs is named as a witness for the prosecution in the murder case of April Kauffman. James Kauffman died in an apparent suicide after being charged in his wife's murder.
‘Oh, definitely not guilty,’ Freddy Augello, seen here with attorney Mary Linehan, replied when Judge Bernard DeLury asked whether he wanted to change his plea during an appearance in July. He faces life in prison if convicted of the murder of April Kauffman.
Glenn Seeler, 38, of Sanford, North Carolina, a co-defendant who took a plea deal in July, is an alleged Pagans member nicknamed “Slasher.” The June 2017 search warrant for Kauffman’s medical practice states that a confidential informant told police shortly after April’s death in 2012 that Seeler had told the informant that a Linwood doctor was supplying “dirty scripts” and wanted to hire someone to kill his wife. Seeler is shown in April with attorney Timothy Reilly, who is also named as a witness.
In this file photo, Atlantic County Prosecutor Ted Housel talks to members of the media about a body that was found in a 2010 case as Detective Ian Finnimore with the forensics division looks on. Finnimore is now named as a witness for the prosecution in the April Kauffman murder trial.
Attorney John Zarych, before Judge Bernard DeLury, Monday April 11, 2016, for a status conference at the criminal court house in Mays Landing. Zarych is the reported one-time lawyer for Andrew Glick. Glick is a local chef and alleged Pagan who, according to a report by the Toronto Star, revealed himself as a confidential informant who led investigators to Augello. He is listed as a witness for the defense.
Joseph Mulholland, 52, of Villas, alongside attorney Ed Weinstock, was a co-defendant in the case and the first to take a plea agreement in June. In a transcript of the grand jury hearing that led to indictments against Augello and the others, Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Detective James Scoppa Jr. said Joseph Mulholland admitted to picking up alleged hitman Francis Mulholland and driving him to the Kauffman residence. Weinstock was named as a witness for the defense in the trial.
Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner is joined by law enforcement officials including James Scoppa Jr., back left, a detective at the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office and a lead investigator in the case. Scoppa is named as a witness for the prosecution.
Cheryl Pizza, 37, of Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, was a co-defendant in the case, charged with racketeering, who took a plea deal in July. According to 2015 news reports out of Sanford, North Carolina, Pizza shot at her now ex-husband and co-defendant Glenn Seeler after a fight over text messages. In addition, Seeler and Pizza were arrested in 2013 during a search of their home in Ocean City, New Jersey, that yielded weapons and drugs. According to a search warrant related to the Kauffman case, Pizza admitted to police in 2013 that she and Seeler were getting drugs from James Kauffman.
At the sixth anniversary of her mother’s killing, Kim Pack reflects on the whirlwind of public recognition, court dates and mourning. Pack, of Linwood, is April Kauffman’s only daughter from her first marriage and the main vocal advocate since her mother was killed. In 2014, Pack sued James Kauffman trying to stop his claim to April’s life insurance policy stating she thought her stepfather was responsible for her mother’s death. She also fought to have April’s will probated and to block James Kauffman from cashing in on the sale of the Linwood home where April was killed.
Lee Darby, of Absecon, was April Kauffman’s best friend. The two met when April was still in high school as their boyfriends were best friends. Lee and April stayed friends through April’s first, second and into her third marriage to James Kauffman. “She was like my sister and we considered ourselves sisters, our daughters consider themselves sisters,” Darby said. “For five years and eight months, I pursued justice in the midst of horrific grief. I fought prayed and begged for justice. Then it came, and shook me to the core."
“She was my friend… it’s been long, five years, much too long,” said April Kauffman's former Woodstock Drive neighbor Millie Tate, named as a witness in the upcoming murder trial. “We’ve waited so long for just anything, and he showed his true colors… ‘cause he is a nut case – I mean with today, holding the gun against the police and everything.”
Paul Pagano, left, enters court Thursday with his attorney, Charles Peruto Jr. Pagano, 52, of Egg Harbor Township, is a co-defendant and an alleged Pagans member known as “Burrhead” and accused of participating in the drug ring with Augello. Pagano’s attorney, Charles Peruto Jr., has said Pagano retired from the Pagans years ago and was taking prescriptions because of a back injury. Pagano is the only co-defendant besides Augello not to take a plea deal.
• Kevin Smith is the attorney representing co-defendant Cheryl Pizza.
• John V. Maher, attorney in Atlantic and Cape May counties and a former Atlantic County assistant prosecutor.
• Sean Byrne, an attorney in Atlantic County.
• Michael M. Baden is a New York City pathologist who has served as an expert witness in many famous cases, including in the O.J. Simpson murder trial. He also hosted the HBO show, “Autopsy.”
• Jessica Bonner is listed as an investigator for Atlantic County. According to state pension records, Bonner works for the New Jersey Office of the Public Defender.
• David Castaldi is a Drexel University law graduate who interned for Judge Bernard DeLury, the judge in this case, during the summer of 2017, according to his LinkedIn profile. Castaldi also interned this summer for the Office of the Public Defender, Atlantic Region.
• Spencer McInvaille is a Digital Forensics Examiner, specializing in cellular location analysis at EnvistaForensics, North Carolina, according to his LinkedIn profile. Before that, he was as a Violent Crimes Investigator in South Carolina, dealing with murder, robbery and aggravated assault.
• Joseph Drinhouser, of Somers Point, was interviewed by the Prosecutor’s Office while in police custody in January, shortly after the murder charges were announced, according to a partial transcript of the interview obtained by The Press.
• Timothy Sarzynski, of Pennsylvania, is the nephew of Francis Mulholland.
• Matthew Widder, of West Atlantic City. According to a search warrant in the case, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration and local police were told by an informant in July 2011 that Widder was the head of an illegal oxycodone distribution network. Police surveillance in the spring of 2012 revealed Widder to be an associate of Andrew Glick. State Police in June 2012 seized Widder’s phone. In a subsequent interview with police, Widder said Glick told him about a local doctor looking to pay $10,000 for someone to kill his wife.
• Stephen Wittenwiler, of Linwood. There are two Stephen Wittenwilers, father and son. The elder, “Big Stevie,” who died in December 2014, is a Pagans member whose obituary proudly exclaimed his ties to the organization. The younger, “Billboard,” is said to also be a Pagans member and to have frequented Widder’s home in the spring of 2012, according to a search warrant in the case. The search warrant also names one of the Wittenwilers as being observed riding in Upper Township in May 2006 with Augello and two others wearing Pagans colors.
• William Gonzalez, of Somers Point, is the bird caretaker who discovered April’s body after she was murdered. He had worked for the Kauffmans for five years and, according to police, told investigators he arrived at 8:55 a.m. May 10, 2012, and entered through an unlocked front door, which he said was common. Gonzalez told investigators he received a call from James Kauffman at about 9:30 a.m. asking whether he had seen April, but Gonzelez said he had not. Two hours later, Kauffman again called Gonzalez asking him to go upstairs and check on April, which is when he found her, lying face down on the floor unconscious and unresponsive. Kauffman told investigators he left his home at 5:30 a.m. that morning and stopped at Wawa before heading to work.
• Neighbor Thomas Hauck, who lives in the house directly behind the Kauffman residence.
• Robert Holtzin, of Mays Landing, a local doctor and friend of James Kauffman.
• Several Linwood police personnel including dispatcher Nicole Ott, Capt. John Hamilton, Wayne Finnegan and Chester Brown.
• Dr. Gary Collins is the chief medical examiner for the state of Delaware.
• Kevin Ruga and James Rosiello, as well as others from the Prosecutor’s Office.
Other witnesses including various pharmacy personnel.
Mulholland said that Augello and April Kauffman knew each other, went to dinner a couple of times and had “an intimate” relationship, according to what Augello had told him.
Mulholland testified that he didn’t want to kill April Kauffman, so he declined not just a $10,000 offer from Augello in fall 2011, but also an offer from James Kauffman for 10 times that amount that same year.
“That ain’t my style,” he told Atlantic County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Seth Levy on why he declined the offer.
He did, however, accept $1,000 from Francis Mulholland for driving him to Linwood that morning.
At times during Mulholland’s testimony, Augello reacted visibly. He leaned back and laughed as Mulholland recounted his fear of Augello, and muttered inaudibly during Mulholland’s testimony regarding a letter written by Kauffman’s attorney Ed Jacobs, which named Augello as a person of interest.
Mulholland, a painter, said he met Augello, a local musician and signmaker, through their associations with the Pagans motorcycle gang. He was a member of the support club, The Herd, and Augello was president of the Cape May County chapter.
On cross examination from defense attorney Mary Linehan, Mulholland said he had gone to James Kauffman as a patient for his diabetes, at the suggestion from his primary care doctor in 2011. However, during his testimony before Levy, Mulholland said it was Augello who initially sent him to see Kauffman to participate in an OxyContin prescription drug ring.
Joseph Mulholland consistently has said that he and Francis Mulholland were only friends, not relatives, although they joked that they were cousins. At one point, after Joseph Mulholland returned from a drug rehab in September 2013, he was fighting with his wife and moved in briefly with Francis Mulholland. He said he was clean from drugs, but filled an OxyContin prescription from James Kauffman as a way to pay back Augello for money he owed him.
One month later, Francis Mulholland was found dead in that same Villas home and multiple pill bottles belonging to Joseph Mulholland were recovered from the scene, which Linehan asked him about Monday. Joseph Mulholland testified that he wasn’t sure where all of the bottles came from.
He said when Augello found out Francis Mulholland was dead, Augello “just smirked.”
Other testimony Monday came from Beverly Augello, ex-wife and former business partner of Ferdinand Augello.
Beverly Augello, 48, of Summerland Key, Florida, was also charged with racketeering and pleaded guilty to lesser charges in August in exchange for her testimony. She said she picked up an envelope from James Kauffman, her doctor, on the morning of April Kauffman’s death, May 10, 2012, at the request of her ex-husband, with whom she was still in business, but she never looked inside to see what it contained.
According to Beverly Augello, it was April Kauffman who convinced the doctor to take her on as a patient, pro bono, due to chronic health problems and lack of insurance. Beverly Augello said she was connected with April through Ferdinand Augello’s uncle, a veteran who knew her.
FBI Special Agent John Hauger served as the state’s expert on cell tower analysis and placed in Upper Township several phone calls between a phone that purportedly belonged to Ferdinand Augello and one belonging to James Kauffman from April 30 to May 9, 2012. Hauger admitted he could not give an exact location for the phone at the times of the calls, and he also could not say who was in possession of the phone at the time the calls were made.
The trial will continue Tuesday with testimony from a law enforcement official and possibly former Pagans member Glenn Seeler and his ex-wife Cheryl Pizza, in addition to former Pagans member Joseph Drinhouser.
Contact: 609-272-7251 CLowe@pressofac.com Twitter @clairelowe