The person accused of gunning down a Mafia kingpin on Staten Island wasn’t aspiring to kill a mob boss that day, his lawyer says.
In his eyes, Anthony Comello was taking out “a distinguished member of the deep state” — whom he allegedly tried to “arrest” at first.
“He ardently believed that Francesco Cali, a boss within the Gambino crime household, was a distinguished member of the deep state, and, accordingly, an acceptable goal for a citizen’s arrest,” stated Comello’s lawyer, Robert C. Gottlieb, in court docket paperwork filed Friday.
“Mr. Comello grew to become sure that he was having fun with the safety of President Trump himself, and that he had the president’s full assist,” Gottlieb added, in accordance with the New York Instances.
The 24-year-old had been satisfied that Cali was related to the notorious QAnon conspiracy, which claims there’s a political “deep state” secretly working the nation from inside the authorities, amongst different issues.
“Mr. Comello’s assist for ‘QAnon’ went past mere participation in a radical political group,” his lawyer stated. “It developed right into a delusional obsession.”
Gottlieb intends to argue in court docket that Comello’s delusions concerning the QAnon conspiracy drove him to commit homicide — and that they’re sufficient to show he’s not responsible by cause of madness. He’s searching for to have Comello positioned in psychiatric care, quite than jail.
Based on Gottlieb, the younger man’s obsession with the “deep state” and different QAnon conspiracies — like the idea that sure Democratic politicians are secretly pedophiles — led to him making a number of “arrest” makes an attempt earlier this yr.
In February, Comello allegedly tried to take Mayor de Blasio into custody on two separate events, considered one of which concerned him displaying up at Gracie Mansion.
He then tried to position two California Democrats below arrest — Reps. Maxine Waters and Adam Schiff — and even tried getting the US Marshal Service to assist. However they reportedly denied his request.
The incidents have been later confirmed by legislation enforcement officers.
Through the years, Comello made “hundreds and hundreds” of posts, messages and discussion board feedback concerning the QAnon conspiracies, which Gottlieb plans to make use of in court docket as proof.
“Patriot sleeper cells are awake,” he wrote on one event.
Gottlieb stated Comello believed that Cali, a member of the Gambino crime household, had been related to the deep state after seeing a put up on-line that urged Mafia figures have been additionally a part of the conspiracy.
He’s accused of killing the mob boss on March 13 exterior his Todt Hill residence. The slaying was believed to be “premeditated” — with prosecutors charging Comello with second-degree homicide.
“The defendant fired 12 bullets, putting him 11 occasions,” stated Staten Island assistant district lawyer Carrie Low at Comello’s bail listening to. “He drove by the sufferer’s home a number of occasions hours earlier than the assault.”
Throughout his first court docket look in March, Comello confirmed up along with his palm lined in drawings of symbols and phrases tied to QAnon. Low described him on the time as a member of the “far-right group.”
“He believes that solely their legal guidelines are the legal guidelines he and the remainder of this nation ought to observe,” she stated.
Comello is due again in court docket on Aug. 13.