Judge delays ex-FBI agent's sentencing

Dec. 16, 2008 at 1:52 PM

MIAMI, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- A Miami judge says he has postponed sentencing for former FBI Agent John Connolly Jr. after defense attorneys requested his murder conviction be tossed out.

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Stanford Blake has put off Connolly's sentencing until Jan. 15 f a motion arguing jurors allowing a motion arguing jurors had been erroneously instructed they could consider a type of second-degree murder that carries no time limitations, The Boston Globe reported Tuesday.

Connolly was found guilty of the charge, with jurors deciding the FBI agent's information leaks to a pair of criminal informants, James "Whitey" Bulger and Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi, led to the 1982 gangland slaying of Boston business consultant John Callahan in Florida.

In a new filing, Miami defense attorney Manuel Casabielle argues a 1992 Florida Supreme Court precedent indicates because Connolly himself did not kill Callahan, he could not be convicted of second-degree murder with a firearm, a severe offense that has no time limitations.

The jury, Casabielle maintains, should have been instructed to consider lesser charges if they moved to reject the first-degree murder charges sought by prosecutors, which they did, the Globe reported.

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