Con man, blaming prosecutor, seeks dismissal of charges

November 15, 1997|By Joan Jacobson | Joan Jacobson,SUN STAFF

A lawyer for admitted con man and ex-fugitive Salvatore P. Spinnato has accused a prosecutor of "misconduct" for talking to the media and asked the Baltimore County Circuit Court to throw out an indictment accusing Spinnato of kidnapping, assaulting and falsely imprisoning his former wife's boyfriend.

Spinnato's lawyer, Salvatore E. Anello III, filed a motion this week asking the court to dismiss the charges because of "prosecutorial misconduct" by Assistant State's Attorney Mickey J. Norman for appearing on a television show publicizing the case, and for comments he made to The Sun in August.

Spinnato is charged with kidnapping Lynn Hogg in July 1996, tying him up in a vacant Arbutus house and threatening to kill Hogg if he didn't stop seeing Spinnato's former wife. Police say an accomplice of Spinnato's attacked Hogg with an electric shock device.

Spinnato's original trial date in January was delayed when Spinnato fled the state. When he was arrested in Texas in August, police there said they found him with a half-dozen false identification cards.

In a court motion filed Wednesday, Anello accuses Norman of violating lawyers' rules of professional conduct by appearing on an episode of the television show "Unsolved Mysteries" called "The Baltimore Con Man," and by telling The Sun in August that Spinnato's capture "made my day this guy needs to go to jail."

Yesterday, Norman criticized Anello's request to the court, saying that Anello failed to show a "defect" in the indictment against Spinnato.

"Nothing I said was improper under the rules of professional conduct and the law," Norman said, adding, "Even if there were, dismissing the indictment would not be the appropriate relief."

Anello also filed a plea on behalf of Spinnato last week, claiming he was not criminally responsible during the alleged incident with Hogg. Norman said he is asking the court to reject that plea because it was not filed in a timely manner.

Spinnato's trial is scheduled for Nov. 25.

Pub Date: 11/15/97

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