The much ballyhooed trial of Mafia cops Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa ended in guilty verdicts and life sentences a few weeks ago. But Eppolito decided to stick around the courthouse a little longer, by claiming his defense from John Gotti's lawyer, Bruce Cutler, was not up to snuff. Therefore, Eppolito must be granted a new trial - hello, buyer's remorse! Eppolito got a contended that Cutler prevented him from testifying in the trial, and actually took the stand in the competency hearing. Unfortunately, Eppolito testified that he'd lie when necesary - and then admitted he would wash his hand after "shaking a black man's hands." Now, Cutler did free associate quite a bit and mock gangsters for turning informants, but a Brooklyn judge found him "not incompetent" (that's a ringing endorsement!) yesterday, noting that Cutler probably did the right thing in not letting Eppolito testify.

The other "Mafia cop," Caracappa, also claimed his defense from Edward Hayes was "incompetent." The judge will rule on that soon.