Former South Jersey police chief wants conviction in federal court dismissed

CAMDEN, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) — The attorney for a former Burlington County police chief is asking that a guilty verdict against his client be thrown out, contending there were problems with the jury that convicted him of lying to federal investigators.

Back in October, the panel deadlocked on whether onetime Bordentown Police Chief Frank Nucera used excessive force in the arrest of a black teenager. But he was convicted on one count of lying to the FBI about it.

Nucera’s attorney, Rocco Cipparone, has filed a motion asking that the conviction be thrown out because jury deliberations were tainted.

"The allegations supported by affidavits from four jurors who came forward suggest that there was a lot of racial animus and racial tension that motivated the votes in the jury room," Cipparone told KYW Newsradio.

Three of the 12 jurors were black, and the animus claims come from white members of the panel.

"It was a very tense approximately seven or eight days of deliberations," Cipparone added, "and there was a lot of, for lack of a better term, demeaning communications that went back and forth between the jurors."

The U.S. attorney has not commented on the motion.

Judge Robert Kugler has scheduled a hearing on the motion at the end of the month, a week before Nucera is scheduled to be sentenced on the single conviction. A retrial on the other two counts is set for mid-March.