MAYS LANDING, N.J. (CBS) – James Kauffman, the husband of slain New Jersey radio host April Kauffman, has been charged in her 2012 death, the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office announced on Tuesday.
April was found murdered in the Linwood home she shared with Dr. James Kauffman, 69, in May 2012. Police say she had been shot multiple times.
More than five years later, authorities announced during a press conference Tuesday that Kauffman was being charged with murder in connection with her death, along with Ferdinand Augello, 62, who authorities say was also involved in April’s murder-for-hire killing.
According to Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner, Frank Mulholland was hired to kill April.
“Francis Frank Mullholland was paid a sum of money to kill April Kauffman. Almost 18 months after April Kauffman’s murder, Frank Mullholland died in October of 2013 by at the time, it was determined to be an accidental drug overdose,” said Tyner.
Through the investigation, authorities discovered a long-term alliance between members of the Pagan Outlaw Motorcycle Gang and former doctor, James Kauffman, who used his medical practice to fuel an illegal drug distribution.
Authorities say prior to 2011, James Kauffman and Augello had a relationship which centered on James Kauffman’s medical practice.
In the summer of 2011, Kauffman solicited Augello to murder his wife because she was threatening a divorce and threatening to expose his drug enterprise which would cause him to “lose his empire.”
Authorities say April allegedly attempted to spend as much money as she could until a divorce was granted, authorities revealed on Tuesday.
Authorities say Augello tried to have a number of people kill April. These individuals were all Pagans, former Pagans or associated with the Pagans. He was unsuccessful for almost a year and James Kauffman was getting restless when Augello found Francis Mullholland, a member of the drug enterprise.
On the day of April’s murder, it is believed that Francis Mullholland received a ride to the Kauffman residence in the early morning hours of May 10, 2012. The doors were left open and Francis Mullholland was given a gun. He went inside, shot April Kauffman twice, killing her, and then left.
It is unknown if this payment was in the form of cash, drugs or both. Francis Mullholland has stated that he received approximately $20,000 in cash for his role, though this number has been speculated at being higher, said authorities. The money was picked up on the day of the murder by Ferdinand Augello’s ex-wife, Beverly Augello along with additional scripts. The scripts were used to obtain drugs that day.
Following April’s murder, the drug enterprise continued for five additional years until the enterprise folded in June of 2017 with the arrest of James Kauffman.
Police say Kauffman was armed with a handgun when his business was raided.
“He brandished a weapon, a 9mm Ruger handgun and at that time it was necessary for us to bring in a hostage negotiator,” said Tyner.
Kauffman, who was already being held at the Atlantic County Justice Facility, is now being charged with murder, racketeering and first-degree leader.
Augello, of Petersburg, New Jersey, is being charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder of James Kauffman, racketeering and leader.
Six other people are facing charges in connection to the drug enterprise:
- Beverly Augello, 47, Summerland Keys, FL, is being charged with first-degree racketeering.
- Joseph Mulholland, 52, Villas, NJ is being charged with first-degree racketeering.
- Glenn Seeler, 37, Sanford, NC, is being charged with first-degree racketeering.
- Paul Pagano, 61, Egg Harbor Township, is being charged with second-degree racketeering.
- Tabitha Chapman, 35, Absecon, is being charged with second-degree racketeering.
- Cheryl Pizza, 36, Murrells Inlet, SC, is being charged with second-degree racketeering.
Kim Pack, who was 29 years old when her mother was murdered, vowed to never give up fighting for justice.
“I feel like I’m living the worst TV movie that you can’t even make up these details and someone would believe it,” said Pack.
“As you can imagine today is a very, very difficult day for me and my family… a lot of mixed emotions,” said Pack. “As a victim, May 10, 2012 forever changed my life. I have been waiting patiently for justice and today I was luckily enough to be granted justice.”