Man convicted of murdering radio show host
MAYS LANDING, N.J. (AP) — A man was convicted Tuesday in the slaying of a New Jersey radio show host in an alleged plot to prevent her from exposing a drug ring.
Jurors deliberated for two hours before convicting Ferdinand Augello of murder, conspiracy to commit murder, racketeering and other counts in the 2012 shooting of April Kauffman. Augello, who will be sentenced Dec. 5, proclaimed his innocence as he was led out, saying “I did not kill Ms. Kauffman, nor did I pay anyone to kill Ms. Kauffman.”
Atlantic County prosecutors alleged that Augello and the victim’s husband, Dr. James Kauffman, wanted to stop her from exposing an OxyContin ring allegedly run by the doctor and the gang. Prosecutors alleged that another man, Francis Mullholland, was driven to the home, where the doors were left open, and given a gun. April Kauffman, 47, was shot twice and her body was found by a handyman. Mullholland, who authorities said was paid about $20,000, was later found dead of a drug overdose.
Augello was also convicted of trying to have James Kauffman killed behind bars. James Kauffman was found dead in his cell in January in an apparent suicide, and Prosecutor Damon Tyner said he was ultimately “tried by a higher jury.”
“It cost him his life,” Tyner said. “He couldn’t live with the weight of the evidence that would have been presented against him on this date.”
Chief Assistant Prosecutor Seth Levy Levy told jurors that Augello used his former co-defendants to protect and enrich himself.
Defense attorney Mary Linehan questioned the reliability of the state’s witnesses, saying the state’s evidence pointed to their star witness, Andrew Glick, a former gang official turned informant.