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Judge ends Capozzi trial for the day

Derek A. Capozzi
Derek A. Capozzi

An angry federal judge sent jurors home Wednesday after about an hour into the second day of the trial of Derek Capozzi, accused of escape.

Senior U.S. District Judge Joseph Hood instructed Assistant U.S. Attorney Pat Molloy to go find every document pertaining to a contract between the U.S. Marshals Service and the Grayson County Detention Center, which houses, feeds and transports federal prisoners.

Attorney Stephen Milner, who represents Capozzi, has argued throughout the trial that he has not been furnished with a written document that specifically mentions a contractual agreement between the U.S. Marshals in the federal government's Eastern District of Kentucky and the Grayson County jail.

Capozzi, a federal prisoner being held by the U.S. Marshals Service, is accused of escaping from a van operated by Grayson jail officials as he was being driven from Grayson County to Blue Grass Airport in April to be put on a flight.

Molloy said witness testimony would establish "proof of performance," which would be enough to show the existence of an underlying contract between the Grayson jail and the U.S. Marshals Service in this area.

Furthermore, he said, a witness would testify that the Eastern District has paid more than $1 million to the Grayson jail to handle federal prisoners, bolstering the argument that an agreement exists.

Just after Wednesday's proceedings began, Milner asked the judge to declare a mistrial in the case, but Hood denied his request.

Milner said that contract documents that he had been provided mention the U.S. Western District and federal districts in other states, but there was no mention of the Eastern District.

"Personally, I don't think the contract has much to do with what's going on, but I think they (the defense) need to see it," Hood said.

At one point, the judge admonished Capozzi for speaking aloud in the courtroom and told Milner to tell his client not to talk unless he was on the witness stand.

"I told you, don't talk to me, Mr. Capozzi," Hood said.

But Capozzi continued to speak, asking that he be allowed to talk to Milner.

"I'm asking you, can I talk to my lawyer?" Capozzi said.

Hood granted him several minutes with his attorney.

Capozzi, 37, is accused of leading authorities on a three-day manhunt that ended with his capture in Woodford County, not far from where it started.

Capozzi, who had been brought to Kentucky to testify in another trial, is serving a lengthy prison sentence for several crimes, including helping to hack the body of a Medford, Mass., woman into pieces after a fellow mobster killed her, according to news reports.

Capozzi is being held at the Federal Medical Center on Leestown Road in Lexington. The trial is scheduled to resume at 9 a.m. Thursday.

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