Reputed mobster linked to 6 slayings in NYC case

By the Associated Press | March 19, 2012 | 1:25 PM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — A reputed mobster has gone on trial in New York on charges he had a hand in six slayings during the 1990s.

A federal prosecutor said in her opening statement Monday that one of the victims was an off-duty New York City police officer who was gunned down in 1997.

Authorities allege Thomas "Tommy Guns" Gioeli ordered the officer's killing. They allege that as a member of the Colombo crime family, he was involved in five other gangland murders.

The killings had gone unsolved for a decade or more until a new crop of mob turncoats agreed to be government witnesses.

Gioeli's defense attorney told the Brooklyn jury that the government has no physical evidence linking his client to the bloodshed. He also called one of the cooperators a "psychopath."