MAYS LANDING, N.J. — Former Pagans member Joseph Mulholland testified in court Monday that the motorcycle club's Jersey Shore chapter leader, Ferdinand "Freddy" Augello, paid him $1,000 to drive a hit man to April Kauffman's house on the morning the South Jersey radio host was killed.
In the Atlantic County Courthouse, Mulholland detailed how Kauffman's husband, James, and Augello, the only person still alive who was accused in April Kauffman's death, plotted to kill her. Alleged hit man Francis Mulholland, who is not related to Joseph Mulholland, died of an overdose in 2013. James Kauffman, a Shore doctor, hanged himself in the Hudson County Jail this year after being charged with his wife's murder.
The plan to kill April Kauffman was set in motion as early as the fall of 2011, Mulholland said, the year before her body was found inside the bedroom of her Linwood home.
Members of the Pagans' local chapter, known as "the Herd," had been receiving prescriptions from James Kauffman for OxyContin, which then sold for about "$20 to $30 apiece," Mulholland said.
"I was eating them left and right," said Mulholland, who said he typically split half of the bottle with Augello.
But in 2011, Augello suggested a new way to make money: killing April Kauffman. After she threatened to reveal the scheme, her husband offered Augello $30,000 to murder her, Mulholland testified.
Mulholland, nicknamed "Irish," said he was approached twice to murder April Kauffman. James Kauffman once asked Mulholland to kill his wife during a doctor's visit in 2011, he said, and Augello also approached Mulholland in the garage of his sign-making business in Ocean View.
Mulholland said that he refused both times but that Augello threatened to kill him if he did not drive the alleged hit man, Francis Mulholland, to the home.
"He said, if I didn't drive him, I was dead. … I feared for my life," said Mulholland, 53, of Lower Township.
Mulholland, who is charged with second-degree racketeering and could face 10 years in prison, told the jury that Augello's wife picked up the $30,000 payment from James Kauffman.
Taking the stand Monday, Beverly Augello testified that she delivered a sealed envelope from James Kauffman to her husband on May 10, 2012, according to the Atlantic City Press. Augello, 48, told the jury that she was visiting the doctor that day to get OxyContin. She said she gave the envelope to Freddy Augello without looking inside.
Beverly Augello, of Summerland Keys, Fla., was charged with distribution of drugs, racketeering, and conspiracy to distribute drugs as part of the OxyContin ring led by her husband and James Kauffman. She agreed to cooperate with prosecutors when she pleaded guilty to third-degree conspiracy to possess drugs in August.
"I'm just hoping I don't go to prison for a long time," Augello said as her husband, seated beside his attorneys, looked on.
Beverly Augello said she had set up a "burner phone" for her husband under the name Harry Johnson.
FBI Special Agent John Hauger, who analyzed the phone's location history, testified Monday that James Kauffman called Augello's burner phone 276 times before his wife's death. The last call on the phone was May 9, 2012, one day before April Kauffman was killed.