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Alleged Philadelphia mob boss Joseph 'Skinny Joey' Merlino is reported to have greeted a juror by name outside the courtroom where he is currently standing trial for racketeering.
The woman - juror number nine - told federal Judge Richard Sullivan that she was stood waiting for the lift at the Manhattan court where the trial is being held, when Merlino, 55, approached her and said 'Hi Sylvia', Fox News reports.
While that would definitely be enough to have me asking to be taken off the case and going into hiding for the rest of my life, it didn't seem to bother the juror too much. In fact, she seemed more shocked that he had the balls to do it.
In an official transcript of the meeting between the juror and judge, the woman was asked to describe the interaction and said: "Not close, but, like, he was on that side, on the opposite side over there, before you get to the exit, and he just said, 'Hi, Sylvia,' and I just turned my head, like, 'Some nerve'."
According to the New York Post, the woman continued: "There was some people. I guess his crew. I'm saying 'crew' because I don't know what else to say, his crew that was all over that side, I guess waiting for somebody to come out or something."
She was then asked by the judge if this would impact her impartiality and she replied: "No. Not at all."
When back in the courtroom, Judge Sullivan gave Merlino, who had previously denied speaking to the juror, a telling off.
"Mr. Merlino, you are to have no contact with jurors, even to say, 'Good morning,' even to say, 'Hello.' Do you understand?" he said.
Merlino is on trial for allegedly orchestrating the biggest racketeering scheme on the East Coast after a lengthy investigation by the FBI; if found guilty he could get up to 20 years behind bars.
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He has previously served 12 years in jail for his part in another racketeering scheme and four years for his role in an armoured truck robbery.
He denies the new charges and has rejected a plea deal.
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