Defense Claims Nearly Everyone But Gunman Responsible For Shooting Of Gambino Boss

Anthony Comello, the 24-year-old man suspected of gunning down reputed Gambino boss Francesco (Frankie Boy) Cali, is a right-wing conspiracy theorist who was influenced by online hate speech. So claimed his attorney today at a court hearing in New York City.

QAnon on the palm....

Attorney Robert Gottlieb also pointed his finger at politicians, including President Donald Trump, and blamed the shooting on Comello being radicalized by the QAnon conspiracy theory "and other rightwing conspiracy websites, hate words that have been spewed by citizens, including politicians, including right at the White House."

"Words matter," he said. "Hate words matter."

When Comello appeared in court in New Jersey last Monday, he held up the palm of his hands to showcase handwritten pro-Trump slogans including "MAGA Forever,” “United We Stand MAGA," and "Patriots In Charge."

In the center of his palm, he had drawn a large Q for the QAnon conspiracy theory, which was called the "Craziest Theory of the Trump Era."

It involves deep state plotters who tried to shoot down Air Force One and foil President Trump’s North Korea summit, as well as a cabal of global elites, including top figures in Hollywood, the Democratic Party, and the intelligence agencies, who are responsible for nearly all the evil in the world...

"That was real," his attorney said of that display. "That was real. That was what he wanted to express that day. It is not, when I raise the issue of the internet, the hate that is on the internet. It was not just to raise a potential defense."

Gottlieb requested his client be placed in protective custody, saying both he and his family are in real danger. But he would not discuss why Comello allegedly targeted Cali and indicated Comello may testify before a grand jury.

We’ve previously reported that the shooting was over Cali stepping in to stop Comello from dating his niece.

Comello was extradited from New Jersey around midnight Monday, driven to Staten Island, the scene of the murder, and booked around 4 a.m. Within hours, he was quietly moved to court for arraignment on murder charges.

Security was reportedly tight at the Staten Island courthouse, with officers stationed outside the building, in the parking garage, and on the roof of the building. Judge Raja Rajeswari ordered Comello be held without bail.

Comello had been held in Ocean County since last Saturday morning when he was taken into custody at his family's summer home in Brick.

Cali was gunned down in front of his Staten Island home after a car accident that allegedly was staged to lure Cali outside. Once Cali came outside the home, a video showed him and Comello talking and then shaking hands. When Cali turned his back on his killer to put the license plate inside the rear of the SUV, he was shot with a 9-mm handgun that the shooter held with two hands, like  he'd been trained.

(Or as Mikie Scars said, like he'd played too many first-person shooter videogames.)