• Lynda Cohen

State tells tale of two empires as Kauffman trial opens

Updated: May 8

Two empires came together against the woman who would take them down, Chief Assistant Posecutor Seth Levy told jurors as April Kauffman murder trial began Monday. Dr. James Kauffman and then-Pagans Motorcycle Club leader Ferdinand Augello were trying to save their profitable Oxycontin drug ring when they decided to look for someone to kill the doctor’s wife, who was threatening to use information she had on the illegal enterprise to force her husband into divorce, Levy said. Augello is the only person on trial in the May 10, 2012, killing of the local radio host. The shooter is dead. Her husband who allegedly planned it is dead. Andrew Glick, who claims the doctor asked him about having his wife killed, took the stand Monday as a key witness against his former Pagan brother. But the words of confidential informants now listed as reliable sources in affidavits in the case told authorities that both Glick and former co-defendant-turned-state witness Glenn Seeler had talked of a local doctor looking for some to kill his wife, defense attorney Mary Linehan told the jurors. Glick even put a price out, $10,000. “The Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office had this information arguably before April Kauffman’s death and positively shortly after April Kauffman’s death,” she said. She painted the picture of a mother and grandmother who fought to help others while investigators looked for something bigger than a woman marked for death. “But there was, I guess, a larger endgame,” she said. “Something more important and bigger than a woman’s life.” She never touched on what that may be or why Augello would have been named. Linehan also brought up that the state had four pathologists submit reports on April Kauffman with “the winner of their time-of-death lottery” picked to testify. Other pathologist has put April Kauffman’s death much earlier than state has claimed. The doctor was there when Francis Mulholland came to the home that morning and walked in through the door kept unlocked for him, Levy said. He had the gun waiting, gave it to Mulholland and left after his wife was killed. Mulholland turned on the nearby Linwood bike path and got lost, it seems. While Kauffman is dead, the trial so far has focused much on him.

Carole Weintraub, widow of Dr. James Kauffman, sits in the courtroom.

His widow, Carole Weintraub, attended the first day of trial, sitting on the defense side and taking notes. Augello worked hard to keep himself out of the fray, Levy said. He would send his Pagan members and their associates to get prescriptions from the doctor, which he would profit from. But Augello talked too much, Levy said. “Three people can keep a secret if two are dead,” he said, as he talked about the death of alleged shooter Francis Mulholland 18 months after the killing. Then there was the allegedly planned death of the doctor, who Augello is accused of trying to have killed. Instead, the doctor was then moved to the Hudson County jail for his safety, Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner said at the time. The doctor was later found dead in his cell of an apparent suicide. “Three people can keep a secret if two are dead,” Levy repeated. But, he pointed out, more than three people knew because Augello “wouldn’t stop talking.” That will include, apparently, in recorded conversations he had with Glick after the former Pagan cut a deal to help in the case after his Nov. 7, 2017 arrest.



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