November, 2012 | Pappalardo & Pappalardo LLP

2012 November


Jeffrey Scaggs Obtains “Not Guilty” Verdict in Mount Vernon City Court Jury Trial

Jeffrey Scaggs of Pappalardo & Pappalardo successfully defended his client against the charge of Criminal Contempt in the Second Degree.

It was alleged by the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office that Jeffrey Scaggs’ client intentionally violated an order of protection issued by the Court. The trial, held in the Mount Vernon City Court before the Hon. Adam Seiden, lasted several days, with both sides calling numerous witnesses. If convicted, his client could have been sentenced to up to year in the Westchester County Jail.

Through cross examination, Jeffrey Scaggs uncovered serious issues of credibility and bias in the prosecution’s witnesses. Following the prosecution’s direct case, Mr. Scaggs called the defendant to the stand to tell the jury his side of the story. In his summation, Mr. Scaggs argued that the flaws in the prosecution’s case, coupled with the credibility of the defense’s own witnesses, left the jury with too much reasonable doubt to convict.

Jeffrey Scaggs said to the jury in his summation, “If you agree with me, that there are serious reasons to doubt the prosecution’s story, you have to find this man not guilty.”

The jury agreed, and after a short deliberation, the jury returned with a verdict of “not guilty.”

Posted at 2:28 PM in Criminal Law | Permalink

John Pappalardo and Angelo MacDonald featured in new true crime novel Wealthy Men Only

Pappalardo & Pappalardo’s managing partner John Pappalardo and experienced trial attorney Angelo MacDonald are featured in Stella Sand’s latest true crime novel Wealthy Men Only: The True Story of a Lonely Millionaire, a Gorgeous Younger Woman, and the Love Triangle that Ended in Murder.

In Wealthy Men Only, Stella Sands – author of five other crime books including The Dating Game Killer and Murder at Yale – details the murder of Bill McLaughlin and the trial that followed more than 15 years later. McLaughlin was killed by six gunshot wounds to the chest on December 15, 1994, in his home in Newport Beach, California.

The Orange County Prosecutor’s Office accused Nanette Johnston and Eric Naposki of first-degree murder with the special circumstance of murder for financial gain. Johnston met McLaughlin after placing an advertisement for “Wealthy Men Only,” inspiring the title of Stella Sand’s recently-published book. Naposki, a former NFL player, was Johnston’s romantic interest.

Naposki reached out to John Pappalardo shortly after his arrest in 2009. Naposki and John Pappalardo were childhood friends and had kept up their friendship over the years.

Pappalardo & Pappalardo’s Angelo MacDonald represented Naposki in the trial, which concluded in the summer of 2011. Naposki was convicted of the murder, but he maintains his innocence and is currently appealing his conviction and sentence. Evidence presented against Naposki at trial was largely circumstantial, and the gun used to kill McLaughlin has never been recovered.

Wealthy Men Only is published by St. Martin’s True Crime and is available for purchase on


John J. Pappalardo obtains “not guilty” verdict for New Rochelle youth

Pappalardo & Pappalardo achieved success for another criminal defendant on Wednesday, November 7, 2012, in the New Rochelle City Court. John J. Pappalardo, senior and founding partner of the firm, tried the case of People v. John Doe, a youthful offender charged with Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree, Menacing in the Second Degree, and Harassment in the Second Degree. The 17-year-old was acquitted of all charges.

The Westchester County District Attorney’s Office attempted to prove that our client had threatened the complaining witness with a baseball bat during a street fight involving our client, his friend, the complaining witness, and the complaining witness’s son.

However, John J. Pappalardo successfully raised reasonable doubt by introducing evidence that the complaining witness and his son were the initial aggressors, and that our client that was merely attempting to defend himself and his friend against the two older men.

The trial, held before the Hon. Gail Rice of the New Rochelle City Court, resulted in a quick decision in favor of the defense and resulted in a not guilty verdict for the firm’s client.

“We’re very happy with the not guilty verdict,” said John J. Pappalardo. “This is a good kid with a bright future, and we’re happy that justice has been served.”