Bad End For A Bad Cop

George Weingartner chose to face his camcorder rather than the stack of felony charges facing him, reports CBS News Correspondent Richard Schlesinger.

In a rambling 17-minute monologue, Weingartner tried to defend himself against most of the charges for which he was on trial in Toms River, N.J.

Â"This will probably never be shown. ..but I'm innocent of 90 percent of these charges brought against me,Â" he said.

Even if just 10 percent of the charges are true, it might be hard to feel sorry for Weingartner. He was a police officer who -- according to prosecutors -- became a mob enforcer and was involved in the murder of a mobster named John DiGiglio.

Â"I certainly had nothing to do with DiGiglio. Believe it if you will...if you donÂ't, I donÂ't care,Â" Weingartner said to his camcorder.

Weingartner was found dead in his garage. His carÂ's engine was running and the garage door was closed. On the tape, which was found next to his body, he said he expected to be found guilty of some charges and sent to prison.

Â"IÂ'm not gonna give them the satisfaction,Â" he said.

Throughout the tape, Weingartner tries to speak to his accusers -- apparently hoping his last words would be the last word in this case.

Â"All the tough guys who tried to be tough with me, they couldnÂ't make me talk if they cut my heart out, even if I knew anything, which I donÂ't,Â" he said.

Weingartner apparently had health problems and was afraid he would die in prison. He said he had recently turned down a plea bargain that would have sent him away for seven and a half years. He was on trial with three other mobsters and apparently considered suicide the only way to get back at prosecutors.

Â"IÂ'm happy as a lightning bug because I'm gonna screw their case up. I m gonna screw up their trial thatÂ's cost them millions and millions of dollars,Â" he said.

In the end, he was wrong.

The trial of the other three defendants was delayed just one day, and promptly resumed Wednesday morning. WeingartnerÂ's last recorded words -- a taunt to police officers – was nothing more than an object of curiosity.

Â"Okay IÂ'm signing off right now...IÂ've talked for about 20 minutes. Should give you something to do at headquarters. . .have donuts and watch the movies. So long,Â" he said.


©1998, CBS Worldwide Inc., All Rights Reserved
  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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