MAYS LANDING — The only man left alive charged with murder in the 2012 killing of April Kauffman is scheduled to appear in court Thursday.

Ferdinand “Freddy” Augello, 62, of Upper Township, an alleged Pagans motorcycle gang leader, is scheduled for a status conference at 9 a.m. before Judge Bernard DeLury in Atlantic County Superior Court.

Augello is accused of hiring a hitman to kill April Kauffman — a move prosecutors say was motivated by her now-deceased husband Dr. James Kauffman’s desire to hide an opioid drug ring he ran through his Egg Harbor Township medical practice with Augello, who pleaded not guilty during his arraignment April 19.

Augello has been indicted on charges of the murder of April Kauffman, the attempted murder of James Kauffman and leading the alleged drug-trafficking network.

Augello has been in the Atlantic County jail since his Jan. 9 arrest, but someone has been posting as him from his social media accounts.

The public posts include the mailing addresses for the jail to send him reading materials or letters, visitation hours and instructions to only contact him through direct messages on Facebook.

On June 12, a lengthy statement was posted proclaiming his innocence on the Facebook page for his business, Freddymade Guitars & Graphics.

An Atlantic County spokeswoman has confirmed inmates do not have access to the internet from inside the jail.

At Augello’s last status conference June 7, Mary Linehan, his public defender, requested a copy of James Kauffman’s suicide note. DeLury said he wants to read it before deciding.

Since Linehan’s request, attorneys for three other defendants in the case have said they plan to join in the application to view the purported note left by James Kauffman before he died in January in a Hudson County jail cell.

Another co-defendant in the case, Joseph Mulholland, 52, of the Villas section of Lower Township, also is scheduled for a status conference at 9 a.m. Thursday before DeLury.

Mulholland pleaded not guilty in April to charges of racketeering, distribution of drugs and conspiracy to distribute drugs as part of the alleged drug ring.

Five other defendants in the case who have also pleaded not guilty to charges of racketeering, distribution of drugs and conspiracy to distribute drugs — Beverly Augello, 48, of Summerland Key, Florida; Glenn Seeler, 38, of Sanford, North Carolina; Paul Pagano, 51, of Egg Harbor Township; Tabitha Chapman, 35, of Absecon; and Cheryl Pizza, 37, of Murrells Inlet, South Carolina — are scheduled for their next status conferences July 26.

Contact: 609-272-7241 MBilinski@pressofac.com Twitter @ACPressMollyB

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.

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