Racketeering Trial Resumes Monday; Zannino Granted Separate Trial
BOSTON (AP) _ One of seven defendants in a racketeering case was granted a separate trial Thursday, after he was hospitalized twice with heart problems, and the judge set the twice-interrupted trial to resume Monday.
Ilario M.A. Zannino, 64, of Swampscott, one of seven defendants named in a September 1983 federal grand jury indictment that includes Gennaro J. Angiulo, the alleged boss of Boston organized crime, repeatedly had asked for a separate trial because of heart trouble.
U.S. District Judge David S. Nelson had excused Zannino from the three- week-long jury selection process that opened June 11 but refused to grant him a separate trial, even when Zannino was hospitalized two nights last week after suffering an apparent collapse in the courtroom.
Nelson interrupted the trial but resumed proceedings last Friday when Zannino was released from Massachusetts General Hospital.
But courtroom testimony was canceled again Wednesday when Zannino was hospitalized once more, suffering from what his attorney Joseph J. Balliro and hospital physicians said were two episodes of ″ventricular fibrillation and cardiac arrest.″
″He died twice and was brought back to life by heroic measures,″ Balliro told Nelson on Thursday. ″Had he been in the courtroom at the time ... it’s a certainty he would have died.″
Nelson then separated Zannino from the case and said trial would resume Monday with further testimony from the first witness, FBI agent Edward M. Quinn, who was on the stand when court recessed Tuesday.
While the government opposed Zannino’s earlier requests, claiming he manipulated his heart condition with salt intake, there was no objection this time.
Zannino was in serious condition Thursday at Massachustts General Hospital, where he was expected to remain at least a week, according to his attorneys and hospital spokesman Martin Bander.
Zannino and Angiulo, 66, of Nahant, were the only defendants in the case who remained jailed. The others were released on bail.
Zannino was the second defendant granted a separate trial. On June 14, Vittore N. Angiulo, 69, of Revere, won a separate trial because of a kidney problem.
Zannino, Gennaro and Vittore Angiulo, along with brothers Francesco J., 64, of Boston; Donato F., 62, and Michele, 57, both of Medford; and Samuel Granito, 78, of Revere, were indicted on 20 counts that allege a pattern of criminal activity involving murder, extortion, obstructing justice, racketeering and conspiracy.