A defense attorney's lingering illness led a judge to declare a mistrial Thursday for one of two men on trial for the 2001 gangland-style slaying of prominent South Florida businessman Konstantinos "Gus" Boulis.
Broward Circuit Judge Ilona Holmes granted the mistrial at the request of Anthony "Big Tony" Moscatiello. His lawyer, David Bogenschutz, has been ill, which has caused previous delays in the high-profile case in which jurors are sequestered.
Trial will continue for Anthony "Little Tony" Ferrari, resuming with testimony on Friday.
"I think this was my best call to make so we don't have any more delays," Holmes said.
Prosecutors said they will retry Moscatiello, who is out on bail, at a later date, but they will have to start all over with a new jury.
"At some point down the road there will be a new trial for Mr. Moscatiello," said Assistant State Attorney Gregg Rossman.
The two are charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Boulis on Feb. 6, 2001, as he sat in his car in downtown Fort Lauderdale. They face the death penalty if convicted.
Prosecutors say Boulis was killed in a power struggle over the SunCruz Casinos gambling fleet that he had recently sold. Boulis also founded the Miami Subs restaurant chain.
State witnesses have testified that Moscatiello, 75, was a high-ranking member of New York's Gambino organized crime family and Ferrari, 56, was his guy in South Florida. The two had obtained lucrative contracts with SunCruz from its new owners, New York businessman Adam Kidan and Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
Prosecutors say Boulis was killed by a mob hit man because he was attempting to regain control over SunCruz. Another former Gambino operative, Peter "Bud" Zuccaro, testified Wednesday that Moscatiello had asked him to kill Boulis for $100,000, but that he refused because he would not murder for money.
Kidan and Abramoff are not charged in the Boulis slaying, but both did go to prison for fraud in their $147.5 million purchase of SunCruz from Boulis. Kidan is expected to testify as early as Friday and Abramoff may testify later.
The defense attorney's illness was not disclosed.