Closing arguments in the racketeering trial of alleged Long Island crime boss Tommy Gioeli of Farmingdale were postponed for a day Wednesday when Gioeli refused to come to court from jail and then said he could not because of a health problem.
Gioeli's lawyer told U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan in Brooklyn that Gioeli initially resisted coming to court because he disagreed with rulings on the language to be used in the verdict form to be filled out by the jury while it deliberates.
Gioeli family members, who have been present throughout the trial, also did not show up Wednesday.
Based on changes in the verdict form agreed to overnight, defense lawyer Adam Perlmutter said, Gioeli was prepared to come. But due to a health problem -- disclosed to the judge privately -- Perlmutter said Gioeli couldn't appear. Cogan said summations would begin Thursday, with or without Gioeli.
Gioeli, 59, is charged with heading a crew that committed six murders during the 1990s. On a prison blog, he has portrayed himself as a suburban dad being persecuted by the FBI, and has written extensively about a heart condition, diabetes, dental issues and other health problems he is dealing with in jail.