Under tight security and a blanket of secrecy, the former foreman of the Family Secrets jury took the witness stand Thursday to testify how he heard a mob killer allegedly utter a threat under his breath to a federal prosecutor during the prosecutor’s closing argument.
The alleged threat is at the center of an effort by defense attorneys to get new trials for the five defendants convicted in the biggest Outfit case in recent memory.
The lawyers contend up to four jurors heard the threat, and it biased their deliberations. Prosecutors contend the verdicts should stand.
The jury foreman testified in a courtroom that had been cleared of anyone not directly involved in the case. The courtroom doors were locked. Court officials taped manila envelopes over two courtroom windows and even the crack between the two courtroom doors, so no one could peer in, in an apparent attempt at increasing security.