Jersey Gang Lawyer Charged in Witness Murder
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted May 21, 2009 2:41 AM CDT
Client Heather DiCarlo sits with attorney Paul Bergrin at a check bouncing trial earlier this month. Now Bergrin has been charged with murder for his role in the death of witnesses in other trials.   (AP Photo/Mike Derer, Pool)
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(Newser) – A flamboyant, high-profile New Jersey gang lawyer has been charged with murder for his role in the death of a key witness against his clients, according to law enforcement authorities. Former prosecutor Paul Bergrin, 53, is accused of leaking the name of a confidential witness to gang members who shot him dead in the street, and of hiring a hitman to target another witness, reports the New York Times. He has also been charged with coaching witnesses to lie and paying others to leave town.

Bergrin, whose clients have included rap stars, a soldier at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and gangsters, "operated as an outlaw, as sort of a mob leader," charged the US attorney for New Jersey, who called him a "one-man crime spree." Bergrin, the son of a New York City police officer, spent a decade as a top prosecutor in New Jersey. If convicted, he faces a possible death sentence.