Pagan motorcycle gang leader Ferdinand Augello has entered a not-guilty plea for the 2012 shooting death of radio host April Kauffman before a Superior Court Judge in an Atlantic County courtroom. The 61-year-old suspect has been accused of hiring a hitman to murder Kauffman after it was learned that she had threatened to notify police about an illegal prescription drug dealing operation that her husband had been running with the suspect as well as other members and associates in his gang. According to prosecutors, Kauffman’s doctor husband who was an endocrinologist had an arrangement with Augello to illegally sell the pills until the scheme was discovered by the doctor’s wife.
Wife’s Discovery Leads to Murder
When April Kauffman discovered what her husband was doing, he allegedly asked the Pagan gang leader to hire someone to kill his wife. The person who is believed to have actually carried out the murder ended up dying from a drug overdose a year later according to prosecutors. It is unclear at this time if this was due to any additional foul play and no charges have been brought up as of yet in that regard.
Husband’s Charge Leads to His Death
It was not long after that Dr. Kauffman was charged with being behind the plan that ultimately got his wife killed, in addition to it being known that he was in charge of an illegal prescription drug ring. Investigators involved with the case believed that there may have been an attempt on the life of Dr. Kauffman while he was in Atlantic County’s jail which is why for his own safety he was transferred to a jail In Hudson County. Despite this move, it could not change the end result, as weeks later Kauffman ended up taking his own life in his jail cell. The prosecutor for the case believes that moving him to Hudson County was the correct move but does not believe the decision to not put Kauffman on suicide watch was his decision to make. A Hudson County spokesman has also said that when admitting Kauffman there was no reason to believe that he was experiencing suicidal thoughts at the time. On top of that, the Atlantic County warden stated that there was no reason to believe the suspect had any medical or mental health issues by the time he was brought to Hudson County.
Pagan Gang Members Get Charged
Augello, as well as other gang members and co-defendants, have been indicted for charges including racketeering and drug offenses. Augello also faces an attempted murder charge for allegedly trying to have Kauffman murdered in jail in an attempt to keep him quiet about their crimes. Augello remains behind bars while he is awaiting trial while the rest of the accused are free pending what happens the next time they are in court.
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