The man accused of gunning down a mob boss in Staten Island earlier this year reportedly believed the kingpin was a member of the “deep state.”
The New York Post reports that Anthony Comello ‘s lawyers are angling for an insanity defense in the murder of Francesco “Franky Boy” Cali in front of the victim’s home in March.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Cali was known to be a head of the Gambino crime family, and authorities initially believed that Cali’s mob ties may have been part of the motive for the killing. Cali’s wife and children were reportedly inside their Staten Island home when Comello allegedly shot him before running over Cali’s body with his vehicle, and are believed to have witnessed the killing.
Court documents obtained by the New York Times show that Comello’s lawyers have said that the 24-year-old suspect was on a deluded vigilante mission, reportedly believing that Cali was connected to the purported Qanon deep state organization, believed by conspiracy theorists to be working to undermine President Donald Trump.
The lawyers reportedly said that Comello tried to conduct a citizen’s arrest of Cali before killing him.
“He ardently believed that Francesco Cali, a boss in the Gambino crime family, was a prominent member of the deep state, and, accordingly, an appropriate target for a citizen’s arrest,” Comello’s attorney, Robert C. Gottlieb, reportedly said in the court documents.
“Mr. Comello became certain that he was enjoying the protection of President Trump himself, and that he had the president’s full support.”
According to the report, the lawyers also said that Comello had previously tried to “arrest” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The attorneys are reportedly preparing to argue that Comello is not guilty by reason of insanity and will ask that he be placed in psychiatric care instead of going to prison.
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[Feature image: Frank Cali/NYPD]