"It's New Year's Eve," "Uncle Joe" Ligambi yelled at one of the feds. "What are you doing here? You should be getting ready for tonight's parties."
For a guy stuck in jail on the holidays, the boss of the Philadelphia mob was in surprisingly good spirits today.
The prosecution had wound up its case, and the defense was putting on its witnesses. They included a former car dealer who once sold Uncle Joe a Cadillac, and a gambling expert who tried to show that the people overheard on federal surveillance tapes were actually part of somebody else's bookmaking operation, and not Uncle Joe's.
It was a half-day for the mob trial on New Year's Eve, as the judge and lawyers in the case knocked off early, but not before they talked about scheduling. It looks like the defense will wind up its case on Thursday by calling "Frankie The Fixer" DiGiacomo, a former government witness.
At the first mob trial, DiGiacomo, a South Philly plumber and wannabe wise guy, sounded more like a defense witness last year when he described Uncle Joe and his co-defendants as "good people, great people." Frankie the Fixer also ripped fellow government witness "Bent Finger Lou" Monacello as somebody who "should have been dead a long time ago."
Judge Eduardo Robreno said he expected closing statements on Monday and Tuesday, and then, after the judge delivers his charge on Tuesday afternoon, the case will go to the jury.