Murder Inc Trial Brief/Day 3

 Day three of Murder Inc. money laundering trial got off to a confusing start today as prosecutors and defense attorneys argued over the relevance of text messaged conversations between Irv Lorenzo "Gotti" and Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff.

Irv Lorenzo, wearing a navy blue suit and tie with a baby blue shirt, And his brother Chris Lorenzo, sporting a beige suit with a navy blue tie and white striped shirt, both arrived to the courtroom early. Meanwhile, Ja Rule didn't show up for the first time since the trial began and Black Child walked into the court room close to noon.

The day started out as the prosecution and defense approached the bench and engaged in 15 minutes of back and forth discussion with Judge Edward Korman over one particular text message allegedly from Irv Gotti to McGriff. For 10 to 15 minutes, the two sides debated about a message in which Irv Gotti wrote, "I love the shit out of you." The defense contends the note was written to Gotti's wife. However, prosecutors claimed it was sent by Irv to McGriff - a "thank you" of sorts for the shooting of 50 Cent.

Prosecutor Sean Haran went further, arguing that "there's absolutely no doubt that Supreme shot 50 Cent that morning" and that Gotti's message shows he was pleased by the incident. Both sides acknowledged that there was no way of proving that Irv sent or received the message.

Prosecutor Carolyn Borkony then called New York Police Department detective Anthony Castiglia to the stand. Last Wednesday, defense attorney Gerald Shargelaccused Donell Nichols of lying by showing that $70,000 in denominations of fives and tens could not fit into a shoe box. During his testimony, the 20-year police veteran said he conducted his own experiment this weekend by stuffing 7,400 one dollar bills into an Adidas shoe box in order to prove that the sum could amount to well over $70,000 if the bills had been fives and tens.

Castiglia also showed a range of shoe box sizes, including a Timberland shoe box, to demonstrate that the box Nichols referred to could have been bigger than the one used in Shargel's demonstration.

In his cross-examination, Shargel asked Detective Castiglia whether he was guessing the size of the shoe box. After further probing from Shargel, the detective admitted that everybody was guessing the denomination and size of the shoe box was uncertain, but that considering "the standard urban attire," drug dealers were more likely to wear sneakers or construction boots rather then dress-up shoes, which provided the box in last Thursday's cross-examination.

The federal prosecutors then called Jon Ragin to testify. Ragin, is a former partner of McGriff's Picture Perfect Entertainment and has previously been convicted of credit card fraud and possession of a controlled substance. He is presently facing between 87 to 108 months in prison and agreed to talk with the feds in exchange for leniency. Ragin confirmed that Preme funded his straight-to-DVD movie Crime Partners using drug proceeds.

Prosecutor Barkony then attempted to bring up the 50 shooting, which prompted an immediate objection from the defense. Judge Korman then called for a recess.

Outside the courtroom, Shargel abruptly commented to reporters about the case saying he didn't want the 50 shooting to be included in the trial because "it has no relevance in this case."

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