I very much admire retired Pagan Ferdinand “Freddy” “Miserable” Augello’s pluck. I am moved by his idealism. After everything that has happened to him he still thinks life is fair.
Two Christmases ago Augello had a sweet, if not particularly prosperous. life. I have seen a video of him letting his big, white dog out into his big backyard to play in the snow. Just about a year ago, on December 5, 2018, a cynical judge sentenced Freddy to life in prison plus 30 years. This year Freddy will be celebrating the holidays inside the walls of historic Trenton State Prison, New Jersey’s most historic prison, proudly locking guys up since 1798. Ruben “Hurricane” Carter did time there for murder. Bob Dylan wrote a song about the Hurricane. Denzel Washington played Carter in a movie. So far Dylan has shown no interest in Freddy.
After Atlantic County, New Jersey threw Augello’s life away the sleazy prosecutor who convicted him issued a victory press release.
“Today, Superior Court Judge Bernard DeLury sealed the fate of Freddy Augello for his responsibility in the murder for hire scheme of April Kaufmann, by sentencing him to life in prison plus 30 years. If he survives, Augello will be approximately 117 years old before he is eligible for parole, which will all but ensure he will spend the remainder of his natural life behind bars for the crimes he committed,” Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner said.
Personally, I don’t think Freddy did the crime. I think he was framed for the murder of a woman named April Kauffman. I think she was murdered ny a couple of mopes named Frank and Joseph Mulholland. I think they were paid to do the job by the victim’s husband, a baloney sandwich named James Kauffman. Freddy was set up by a former Pagan with legal problems named Andrew “Chef” Glick.
Freddy was eager to go to trial. He did not, as he told me, have “a pot to pee in.” He wanted to get it all over, prove his innocence and get back to the way things were. He thought life was fair. He thought the system works. So the system gave him what he deserved: A public defender named Mary Linnehan.
One of Linnehan’s clients attacked her in court last May. That guy wanted to fire her. They were at a hearing and Linnehan was making a speech. He wanted her to stop “defending’” him right then. Sher wouldn’t stop so he stopped her.
While Freddy has been away the Mayor of Atlantic City, a scoundrel named Frank Gilliam, has resigned under a cloud. He ran a youth basketball business and called it a charity. His successor, the Honorable Marty Small, has a colorful history that includes selling drugs outside a school. Both of them will be home for Christmas.
Damon Tyner has had his own brushes with notoriety. Some former assistants accused him of hiding exculpatory evidence in Freddy’s case. Just last month he was sued by Discover Bank for $8,586.90 he borrowed and didn’t pay back. In October, three county employees “demanded the state Attorney General’s Office remove Tyner for alleged ethical violations ranging from misusing funds to sweeping gender discrimination complaints under the rug.”
Through it all, Freddy still thinks there is a chance he might be home for Christmas. Or the Christmas after that, or some Christmas before his dog dies and the people who love him forget about him. He is planning his appeal. He spent the fall reading the transcripts of his trial. The transcripts bring unpleasant memories to life.
Judge “Delury, a person that I observed on more than one occasion not even paying attention to what was actually going on right before his line of immediate perception, as he could be seen reading what was obvious unrelated materials in my case and telling the court secretary to schedule his time pertaining to other matters.”
“Delury consistently uses the term ‘Freddy Crime World,’ calls out by name my National MC organization, and also as bizarre as it may seem, makes references to the Mafia and allows direct references to my ethnicity to pass as acceptable.”
“Delury in his final bigoted statement decides to not only give me the extremist version of the charges available, he adds his own twist and refers to me as ‘Depraved.’”
“Delury says I met with La Cosa Nostra members to encourage them to murder Dr.Kauffman.”
“The worst thing, hands down that Delury has done, besides propagate the lie to April’s friends and family that I am responsible for April’s murder and not the actual murderers Francis and Joseph Mulholland, is the enabling of Tyner’s FBI Mercenaries to DESTROY an innocent family in the pursuit of their Farce.”
“As they all knew, a simple knock on the door and the statement ‘Mr Augello, you are under Arrest” would have easily sufficed. They certainty knew I not only had no prior arrest record but that I also have no history of criminal violence.”
“A Judge should never be an instrument of the prosecution.”
Freddy’s hope is fueled by rage. If he is just furious enough, if I am just furious enough, if neither of us gives up, maybe some Christmas, some cold night to come, we can get have a few drinks and laugh about the past. Not this Christmas, probably. Maybe next. Maybe the system will work next time.