A replay of one of South Florida's most high-profile murder trials will take place in October when testimony begins for a second time in the state's case against Anthony "Big Tony" Moscatiello in the 2001 mob-style slaying of a prominent businessman.
Broward Circuit Judge Ilona Holmes on Tuesday said testimony in the retrial will begin Oct. 13, preceded by jury selection starting Sept. 15. The slaying of former Miami Subs and SunCruz Casinos owner Konstantinos "Gus" Boulis has received heavy media attention since it happened, requiring extra time to seat 12 jurors plus alternates who haven't formed an opinion about the case.
Holmes said she will decide later on whether to sequester the Moscatiello jury, as she did for the first trial. Moscatiello, 75, was dropped from last fall's trial because his attorney became ill. His associate, Anthony "Little Tony" Ferrari, was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole.
A third suspect, James "Pudgy" Fiorillo, pleaded guilty to murder conspiracy and testified for prosecutors in return for a lenient sentence. He is expected to testify again against Moscatiello, whom prosecutors and witnesses described as a member of New York's Gambino crime family.
Moscatiello attorney David Bogenschutz expressed confidence that his client will be cleared. Moscatiello has pleaded not guilty and could get either the death penalty or life behind bars if convicted.
"I think there will be a different outcome this time," he said.
Testimony in the first trial showed Boulis, 51, was slain by a mob hit man on a downtown Fort Lauderdale street during a power struggle over the SunCruz Casinos gambling fleet. Witnesses said Moscatiello and Ferrari, brought aboard by new SunCruz owners, wanted Boulis out of the way to protect their own lucrative contracts with the fleet.
Several witnesses described how Moscatiello sought them out to kill Boulis, included a former Gambino operative, Peter "Bud" Zuccaro, who testified he was insulted at an offer of $100,000 to do the hit because he didn't kill for money - only for principle.
The killing happened a few months after Boulis sold SunCruz to New York businessman Adam Kidan - who admitted having ties to organized crime figures such as Moscatiello - and once-powerful Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Kidan and Abramoff later pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges in the $147.5 million SunCruz purchase and served federal prison time.
Testimony showed the hit man, John "J.J." Gurino, was later shot and killed in a dispute with a Boca Raton delicatessen owner.