Murder trial starts for man charged in radio host's slaying

EMBED </>More Videos

Murder trial starts for man charged in radio host's slaying. Monica Malpass reports during Action News at 5 p.m. on September 17, 2018.

Opening arguments began Monday in the April Kauffman murder case. 62-year-old Ferdinand "Freddy" Augello is the only remaining murder defendant alive since Dr. James Kauffman killed himself in jail.

Atlantic County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Seth Levy described James Kauffman and Augello as two different men that were brought together by their illegal drug operation and, ultimately, to silence April Kauffman.

"You might think there's no more two different people: the wealthy doctor who wants to be part of high society and the Pagan president," said Levy. "In their mutual greed, they found common ground. They came together to silence April."

The 47 - year-old mother, grandmother and popular veterans advocate was shot to death in the bedroom of her Linwood, New Jersey home in May 2012.

She began insisting on a divorce in 2011 and threatened to expose Dr Kauffman's lies about his military service. Kauffman claimed for years he was a Vietnam veteran.

Levy said Kauffman offered Augello $50,000 to find a killer. That search took over a year and multiple people were approached.

The first witness to take the stand is Andrew "Chef" Glick, the former president of the Cape May County Chapter of the Pagans Outlaw Motorcycle Club.

Glick testified he learned of Augello's lucrative oxycontin ring with Dr. Kauffman and became a part of it. Glick became a patient and began receiving prescriptions of OxyContin.

Augello allegedly recruited people to become "patients" and he would make a profit either from selling the pills or the people he would recruit would pay him.

Glick testified that Joseph Mulholland approached him about killing April Kauffman. Mulholland plead guilty to the Oxycontin ring and is expected to testify.

Glick said "the doc was impatient" in reference to Kauffman looking to find someone to carry out the crime. Glick said Joseph Mulholland drove the man accused of killing April, Francis Mulholland, to the Kauffman's Linwood home and there Dr. Kauffman provided him with a gun.

Francis died of an overdose following the hit.

Glick said he turned down the offer. After Glick was arrested on unrelated drug charges in November of 2017, he agreed to cooperate with the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office and wore a wire.

In court Monday, began playing some of those recordings including one with Augello.

During opening statements Augello's defense team dropped a bombshell. Mary Linehan, the lead public defender on the case, said through a confidential informant the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office possibly knew about the doctor's search for a hitman possibly prior to the murder.

Linehan also said The ACPO knew about the drug ring for years after the murder and let it continue. She then said the entire investigation became "to big too fail" after The ACPO went on 20/20 and widely publicized the arrests in the case.

The trial is expected to take two to three weeks.

------
Send a News Tip to Action News
Learn More About 6abc Apps
Related Topics:
new jersey newstrialmurder
(Copyright ©2018 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.)