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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

[NJ] Suspended Police Chief Castagna to be retried for wife-murder plot

By Artemis Coughlan
Published: Tuesday, May 12, 2009
[Excerpts] MOUNT HOLLY - Suspended Bordentown City police chief Philip Castagna will face another trial on charges that he conspired to kill ex-wife Joyce Leopold in 2005. Castagna, 46, of Burlington, was found not guilty of conspiring with chief prosecution witness and admitted liar Gary Hall to set fire to the Fawn Hollow home that Castagna and Leopold once shared, but jurors were deadlocked on the conspiracy to commit murder charge. A juror told The Trentonian that all but one juror wanted to convict Castagna on that charge... "I think that this display by the state to retry me is a form of harassment and it is a form of conspiracy against me. I think Gary Hall's and my rights are being violated"... Hall admitted during the last trial, which ended March 30, that he set the fire at the home on July 4, 2003, but at the urging of Castagna. Hall was granted immunity from prosecution on the aggravated arson charge in exchange for his testimony against the chief. The charges Castagna faces during the next trial are for allegedly conspiring with Hall to kill Leopold over the months following the arson because she caused him to lose his job and pension for violating a protection from abuse order she held against the chief... Castagna said he will seek a change of venue for the trial because he believes he can't get a fair jury trial in Burlington... [Full article here]
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