After approximately 30 hours of deliberation, the jury in the Joseph “Skinny Joey” Merlino trial alerted the judge that they were hopelessly deadlocked on all four charges.
The judge then declared a mistrial and ordered both sides to report back to court on March 6th to decide whether or not to retry the case. For now, the alleged Philadelphia mafia boss has come out on top in what is definitely another black eye for the feds in their fight against organized crime. The case seemed flawed from the start and it was dealt an even worse blow when defense attorney Ed Jacobs seemingly damaged the credibility of star witness JR Rubeo during cross-examination.
“JR Rubeo and Joey Merlino”
Rubeo was able to record hundreds of hours of conversation with various mobsters including Merlino while working for the feds. But the tapes proved to be ineffective in linking Skinny Joey directly to any of the charges that included illegal gambling and health care fraud. The other witnesses in the case also failed to provide proof of Merlino’s guilt at least in the eye’s of the jury. It may be somewhat of a long shot for the feds to attempt to retry the flamboyant Cosa Nostra mobster considering all the twists and turns that have taken place. The feds claimed that Joey was not only the current boss of the Philly mafia but was also a leader in the so-called East Coast LCN Enterprise along with Genovese capos Eugene “Rooster” O’Nofrio and Pasquale “Patsy” Parrello.
Merlino found a way to beat the feds and give out an upset pick for the Superbowl saying the Eagles would in outright all at the same time. I guess it’s just Joey being Joey but the feds sure aren’t happy about it at the moment! The fact the Joey Merlino trial ended this way may not be a surprise to all that many people that have been following the case from the beginning.