So-called mob soldier denied shoes as South Philly murder trial gets underway
Openings for a alleged Mafia soldier's murder trial are scheduled to start this afternoon, but the defendant wasn't allowed to wear the clothes he wanted to.
The family members of a South Philadelphia man reputed to be linked with organized crime were rebuffed today when they brought shoes for the defendant to wear.
A Philadelphia sheriff, charged with transporting Anthony Nicodemo to the Criminal Justice Center, told the family that he could give Nicodemo his button-down shirt and dress pants, but could not accept shoes, which must be brought to the prison.
But family members said they were also denied from dropping off the shoes at the prison on Tuesday night.
Nicodemo was indicted by grand jury in March 2013 on first-degree murder charges for the death Gino DiPietro, 51, on December 12, 2012. DiPietro was found shot multiple times in the back on the 1800 block of Iseminger Street and pronounced dead just after 3 p.m.
Defense attorney Brian McMonagle argued at a pretrial hearing this morning that a firearm, ammunition, and all other evidence allegedly recovered from Nicodemo's car, a black Honda Pilot, was only discovered through an illegal search and seizure and thus should be excluded from evidence at Nicodemo's murder trial.
Nicodemo's wife, Noel, testified that as she drove up to the house in a white Honda Polestar, she saw a female police officer shutting the door of Nicodemo's car.
But police didn't obtain warrants to search Nicodemo's home and vehicle until several hours later, at 7:30 p.m. that night, according to court documents.
Further compounding the alleged impropriety, one police log, a chronology form listing the sequence of events in the investigation, listed the gun as being found at 6 p.m.
However, that form was filled out incorrectly due to human error, testified the detective who filled it out.
"It's the first time I've ever heard that... 'I winged a chronology' - It's an absurdity," McMonagle argued.
Judge Jeffrey Minehart denied the motion to exclude the evidence, agreeing that the 6 p.m. time listed on the police chronology form was written in error.
Openings for the trial are scheduled to take place this afternoon.