Accused mobster’s wife won’t testify after shocking cheating testimony
Lawyers for reputed Philadelphia mob boss Joseph “Skinny Joey” Merlino opted not to have his wife testify Monday, following a humiliating incident in which she heard a gangland turncoat testify that her hubby cheated on her.
Deborah Merlino had been listed as a potential witness at Joey’s racketeering trial, but the defense instead rested its case without calling anyone to the stand in Manhattan federal court.
Joey and Deborah wouldn’t discuss the last-minute decision, but denied that last week’s embarrassing testimony by mob rat John “Junior” Rubeo was a factor.
On Wednesday, Rubeo was discussing an unidentified pharmaceutical saleswoman tied to an insurance-fraud scam that Merlino allegedly ran when he unexpectedly blurted out, “Listen, he got caught sleeping with her.”
“He ended the relationship with her. It was his connection. He said, ‘She sent stuff to my house, my wife found out,’ ” Rubeo added.
Closing arguments are set for Tuesday.