Joseph Comunale

Lawyer: ‘Son’ of upscale jeweler butchered, dismembered friend to avoid prison

It all started over a pack of cigarettes

The adopted son of a friend of President-Elect Donald Trump is accused of kicking a man that a friend had beaten to the point of unconsciousness before killing him and trying to dismember him, all in an attempt to avoid going back to prison over assault, reported The New York Post.

James Rackover, 25, of Connecticut, the adopted son of celebrity Manhattan jeweler Jeffrey Rackover, was fingered as the killer of Joseph Comunale, 26. The killing allegedly occurred in Rackover’s luxury Midtown apartment November 13, after he and a group drank alcohol and snorted cocaine, according to court papers reviewed by The New York Post.

Rackover’s friend Larry Dillione, 28, “admitted assaulting Mr. Comunale to the point of unconsciousness after an argument over cigarettes,” wrote defense lawyer Mark Bederow, in a motion to dismiss the indictment against a co-defendant. The attorney then wrote that Rackover “viciously kicked and beat” Comunale before choking and stabbing the man with a knife.

“Mr. Comunale was placed in the bathtub, where Rackover unsuccessfully attempted to dismember him with a serrated blade. An enraged Rackover then stabbed Mr. Comunale several more times in the torso.”

Rackover denies he was involved in the killing. No charges have been filed for the homicide, though Rackover is in jail in lieu of $1 million bond over $300,000 cash for various other charges in connection with the case. Other defendants in the case were released on bond.

Sources told the New York Daily News that more charges have not been filed because of witness statement and other concerns.

Apartment surveillance video includes images of Rackover wheeling a luggage cart loaded with baggage to the front of the building and putting it into a trunk of a Mercedes-Benz owned by the senior Rackover, reported The New York Post.

Rackover and companions then dumped the body in Oceanport, New Jersey, and set it ablaze, Dilione told police according to The New York Post.

The elder Rackover has distanced himself from his adopted son in recent years.

[Feature Photo: Facebook]