Organized Crime Strike Force Prosecutor Stan Hunterton had never called a witness to testify without knowing what to expect.
That is, until May 24, 1982.
The move came as a surprise to everyone in the courtroom, including Hunterton himself, during a sentencing hearing for Lawrence Neumann, a member of the mob-connected “Hole in the Wall Gang.”
Hunterton insists most of his work as a Strike Force prosecutor was nothing like the action-packed legal work portrayed in movies. It was heavy on diligent research and light on sudden plot twists.
I just am sure we’re gonna lose this, and therefore, lose Neumann.
Stan Hunterton, Organized Crime Strike Force Prosecutor
Neumann had been convicted of being a felon in possession of a gun, and Hunterton was arguing that Neumann should be denied bond pending an appeal of his conviction. However, according to Hunterton, it seemed he was about to lose that argument.
“I just am sure we’re gonna lose this and, therefore, lose Neumann,” Hunterton recalls. He needed the sort of plot twist typically limited to fictional courtrooms when FBI Special Agent Charlie Parsons entered the courtroom, tugged on Hunterton’s sleeve and asked to be put on the witness stand.
Figuring it couldn’t hurt, Hunterton decided to go against his instincts and call Parsons to the stand, having no idea what he might say.
Thinking back on this day, Hunterton admits, “This was like the movies.”
‘Mobbed Up — Part 9: Dirty Laundry’
The ninth installment of “Mobbed Up” continues the story of Frank Cullotta and his burglary crew, dubbed the “Hole in the Wall Gang.” At the end of Part 7 of the series, the crew had been arrested during an attempted burglary at a home furnishings store, Bertha’s, in Las Vegas.
If convicted in the Bertha’s case, Cullotta would qualify as a habitual criminal, meaning he could receive a sentence of life in prison.
Where and how to listen
Search for “Mobbed Up” on your preferred mobile podcasting app and tap “subscribe” or “follow,” or click here to listen to the series on the Review-Journal website.