Anthony Comello

Thomas P. Costello

Man who killed Gambino family mob boss thought he was helping Trump in a battle against the 'Deep State'

July 22, 2019 - 3:36 pm
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NEW YORK (1010 WINS/AP) -- The lawyer for Anthony Comello -- the 24-year-old charged with gunning down in March the reputed boss of the Gambino crime family, Francesco "Franky Boy" Cali outside his Staten Island home -- says he was deluded by internet conspiracy theories and thought he was helping President Donald Trump, according to court papers. 

Comello has pleaded not guilty to charges that he murdered Cali, 53. 

Attorney Robert Gottleib wrote in court papers filed Friday that Comello believed Cali was part of a "deep state'' controlling the country, and that he was under the personal protection of Trump. 

"As part of his delusion, the defendant believed that he had been given secret knowledge about the Deep State, and that Q was communicating directly with him so that the defendant could play a grand role in the conflict to save the American way of life. Because of his self-perceived status in QAnon, Mr. Comello became certain that he was enjoying the protection of President Trump himself, and that he had the president's full support," Gottlieb wrote. 

He also wrote that Comello had only intended to put Cali under a citizen's arrest, but wound up shooting him.

"The defendant had brought handcuffs with him, and planned to restrain Mr. Cali and bring him to the appropriate authorities to answer for the criminal actions which Mr. Comello believed he had taken part in," Gottlieb wrote.

For at least one his court appearances, Comello had pro-Trump slogans -- including "MAGA Forever" -- scrawled on his hand. 

And on his palm, was a symbol for QAnon, a conspiracy theory about Trump circulated on far-right message board.

Gottleib says Comello is too mentally ill to be prosecuted.

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