Gioeli Witness Says Former Boss Approved Hit

Gioeli's plan to have his cousin testify on his
behalf backfired in the former mob boss's face.
A key witness meant to testify on behalf of accused murderer Thomas "Tommy Shots" Gioeli caused a a stir in the courtroom when, on cross examination, he claimed that the former Colombo boss approved a killing.

Thomas McLaughlin, a cousin to Gioeli, told Brooklyn federal court that Gioeli had approved the 1991 revenge killing of Frank "Chestnut" Marasa, The New York Post reported. He was shot to death in front of his Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, home on June 12, 1991.

Gioeli lawyer Adam Perlmutter asked what role he, McLaughlin, had played in Marasa’s killing; the witness said he had driven Richie Greaves and Dino Calabro to the scene "where Greaves and Calabro fatally shot Marasa."

Under cross-examination, McLaughlin revealed that, right before the killing, Calabro told him that Gioeli had approved the hit and the men assigned to it.

Gioeli and alleged associate Dino "Little Dino" Saracino, 39, are on trial for a combined six murders -- including Marasa; John Minerva and Michael Imbergamo in 1992; Richard Greaves in 1995, and former Colombo underboss William (Wild Bill) Cutolo, whose corpse was unearthed last year not far from Gioeli’s home in Farmingdale, L.I. -- although they are believed to have committed more, including the Deep Throat murders.

"The courtroom erupted during McLaughlin's testimony, with one female supporter of Gioeli yelling at McLaughlin - who covered his face with his hand for much of his testimony - 'I have to keep my mouth covered when I lie!'" the  Mail Online reports.

"'How’s ‘Joey Caves’?' Gioeli shouted at McLaughlin after the latter’s cross-examination by prosecutors, referring to snitch Joseph Competiello, who had already testified against him.

"McLaughlin, 42, responded by saying 'Richie says hello!,' a reference to former Marine and Colombo crime associate Richard Greaves, who was rubbed out in 1995."

Gioeli, 59, also stands accused of telling his henchmen where to hide Marasa's body.