Federal prosecutors aiming to convict mob scion John Gotti Jr. came up short for the fourth time in five years when a deadlocked jury failed to reach a verdict. After more than a year behind bars, Gotti Jr. was released on $2 million bail yesterday and visited his mother in Howard Beach, Queens, before returning to his home in Oyster Bay, Long Island, the Post reports. "This is unbelievable, I can't put it into words. It's been a long fight," he said. When his mother joked that they should celebrate by going to Disney World, Gotti said he couldn't because he legally isn't allowed to leave the New York area: "I can't, it's out of my district."
According to WCBS, the jury voted 7-5 to acquit on a racketeering charge, 6-6 on murder a charge, and 7-5 to acquit on another murder charge. Apparently, many members of the jury found it hard to trust the testimony of mob informants, particularly star witness John Alite, a former drug dealer and one-time friend of Gotti Jr.'s. "They all had an agenda," Juror No. 8 said. "The government did not have one hardworking citizen." Historically, mob informants have had mixed results as witnesses, according to the Daily News.
After Judge Kevin Castel declared the case a mistrial, lead prosecutor Elie Honig signed Gotti Jr.'s bond and shook his hand, wishing him "good luck with your family." Prosecutors have the option of trying Gotti Jr. for a fifth time, but law-enforcement sources say that it is unlikely. According to the Times, the only consensus that the jury reached was that the government should not try Gotti Jr. again. "They should stop this now — it’s ridiculous," said one of the jurors. A female juror said of the prosecution: "It’s abusive. It’s almost become a mockery." Gotti Jr. — who praised the jury as "the most courageous people I've ever seen" and promised to invite them to his home to celebrate — had this to say about the prospect of facing another trial: "I hope to God not. I'm tired."