Bombing suspect's health may delay trial

September 28, 2010 10:00:00 PM PDT
Eighty-six-year-old alleged bomb maker Samuel Volpendesto was not in court Wednesday morning for a pre-trial hearing because his lawyer said he was too sick to come.

Attorney Michael Mann told U.S. District Judge Ronald Guzman that his client's carotid artery is narrowing causing him to be dizzy and black out. Volpendesto's trial is supposed to begin October 12th . He, along with his son Anthony, suburban mob boss Michael "Fat Boy" Sarno, Outlaws biker gangster Mark Polchan, veteran Cicero policeman Dino Vitalo, former Berwyn police officer James Formatto, Casey Szaflarski and Mark Hay are accused of running a violent ring that pulled off jewelry heists and bombed a Berwyn video and vending machine business in 2003.

Prosecutors say the elder Volpendesto was caught on tape admitting to making the pipe bomb that damaged the Berwyn business. Apparently the firm was cutting into the Outfit's illegal $13 million a year video gambling profits. The FBI says the bomb attack was intended to be a warning from Chicago mobsters.

During the hearing, US Assistant Attorney Amarjeet Bhachu told Judge Guzman he will talk to doctors at the Metropolitan Correctional Center where Volpendesto is being held to find out if he is healthy enough to stand trial. If it's determined he is not physically able to be in court, Bhachu said he would ask for the trial date to be pushed back.

Defense attorneys for Volpendesto's son, Anthony, said they received notification from prosecutors last week that there are tape recordings of Anthony Volpendesto and Mark Polchan talking about robbing a jewelry store in Fon du Lac, Wisconsin. Bhachu said he is still waiting to receive copies of the actual recordings. This late introduction of evidence did not seem to please Judge Guzman who asked if this also threatened to delay the trial.

Guzman said 80 to 100 witnesses will likely take the stand in this case.

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