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Reporter's Taped Interview with Witness Halts Mob Murder Trial

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Reporter's Taped Interview with Witness Halts Mob Murder Trial

Article excerpt

A reporter for The Village Voice helped discredit a key witness in a mob-related murder trial on Wednesday after his taped interview with the witness indicated she had changed her story. The move is expected to lead to a dismissal of the case.

The New York Times reported Thursday that prosecutors seeking the murder conviction of former F.B.I. Supervisor Roy Lindley DeVecchio said they would drop the case after the Voice's Tom Robbins revealed his interview tape.

DeVecchio, 67, was charged with helping a mob informant commit four murders in the 1980s and 1990s, the Times reported.

"The lead prosecutor, Michael F. Vecchione, strongly hinted of his inclination yesterday morning in remarks addressed to Justice Gustin L. Reichbach, who is presiding over the nonjury trial," the Times reported.

"Well, Judge, if we can't go forward after listening to these tapes, or we shouldn't go forward because of what's on these tapes," Mr. Vecchione said in open court, "then we're prepared to do what would be necessary, and that would be to dismiss this case if that is the situation."

Later, attorneys for both sides met Robbins in a conference room at the district attorney's office to make copies of his recordings and listen to them, the Times said: "By the end of business hours, a law enforcement official confirmed the decision to drop the charges."

"To stand down now would end a sensational case rife with intrigue, plagued with obstacles and built squarely on the word of Linda Schiro, once a Mafia assassin's mistress, whose shifting accounts have been increasingly evident since the new investigation nearly two years ago," the Times wrote. "Justice Reichbach warned Ms. Schiro in court yesterday that she could face perjury charges and appointed a lawyer, Gary A. Farrell, to represent her."

Robbins said he had struggled with his decision to come forward. …

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