The man accused of gunning down a Mafia kingpin on Staten Island was ordered held without bail Thursday after a prosecutor revealed that he knew how much trouble he faced — and not just from the law.
Anthony Comello expressed fear for his safety, and that of his kin, immediately following the March 13 slaying of Gambino crime family boss Francesco “Franky Boy” Cali outside his Todt Hill home, Staten Island prosecutor Carrie Low said in court.
“After the shooting, he was sending text messages saying, ‘I’m on the run. My family is marked,’” Low said.
During a bail hearing for the 24-year-old construction worker, defense lawyer Robert Gottlieb said Comello’s family was willing to post a $1 million bond so he could be released to electronically monitored house arrest.
Gottlieb also said Comello’s father, a retired concrete laborer, “very much wanted to be here today,” but skipped the court session “based on advice from law enforcement.”
Law-enforcement sources have told The Post that authorities anticipate an assassination attempt against Comello, with one source saying that “the general feeling is that there’s an ‘X’ on this guy’s back.”
Comello, who was hauled into court wearing khaki scrubs and a fresh haircut, remained handcuffed and surrounded by court officers through throughout the hearing.
He did not speak and was largely emotionless, but began bouncing his right leg toward the end of the proceeding, when Gottlieb said he planned to mount an insanity defense and Low said she would seek to have Comello examined by a shrink.
Comello is charged with second-degree murder and related crimes in what Low called Cali’s “premeditated” killing. Low said prosecutors have a mountain of evidence, including DNA.
“The defendant fired 12 bullets, striking him 11 times. All of this is caught on video surveillance. He drove by the victim’s house several times hours before the attack. He walked up on the porch,” she said.
During a confession to cops, Low said, Comello “identified himself in the video.”
“He admitted to shooting Frank Cali,” she added.
Low didn’t allege a motive for the slaying, which law-enforcement sources have said may have been revenge against Cali, 53, for ordering his niece not to date Comello.
During his first court appearance in March, Comello made headlines for displaying a palm covered in inked scrawls tied to the “QAnon” conspiracy theorists who support President Trump, and Low described him Thursday as “member of QAnon, a far-right organization.”
“He believes that only their laws are the laws he and the rest of this country should follow,” she said.
Low also scoffed at defense claims that Comello has “extensive family ties” to more 40 relatives on Staten Island, saying his family home is up for sale and “each member of the family is at a different location.”
“None have shown up today or at the last court appearance,” she said.
Low added that before Cali’s killing, his family “wanted him out of his house. They were encouraging him to get an apartment of his own.” wanted him out of his house. They were encouraging him to get an apartment of his own.”
Supreme Court Justice William Garnett denied Comello bail, calling the case against him “very strong” and noting that Comello — who was arrested at his family’s Jersey Shore vacation home — “fled the jurisdiction after the crime.”
Outside court, Gottlieb noted that the prosecution “has now mentioned a right-wing conspiracy website.”
“That is the heart and soul of where this case is going,” he said.
“The forensic analysis confirms everything we have been saying and this case begins and ends with these conspiracy websites and goes right to the White House.”
Comello is due back in court on Aug. 13.
This article was originally posted here