Judge declares mistrial in Joey Merlino case

A judge has declared a mistrial at the New York City racketeering trial of a notorious Philadelphia mob boss.

When mob boss Joey Merlino walked into court at the beginning of his trial in New York over three weeks ago, he had a prediction of sorts.

"We got a good shot," Merlino told FOX 29.

Merlino was partially right. The jury saying Tuesday they were unable to reach a verdict on the four counts against Merlino. His camp viewed it as a win for the 55-year-old mobster. He was potentially facing more than 10 years in prison on healthcare fraud and other charges.

John Terry is the former head of the FBI's organized crime squad in Philadelphia.

"I think you can make an argument that he would feel empowered," Terry told FOX 29. "At some point, you wanna be able to just sleep at night without worrying is there gonna be a knock at the door or a bullet coming through the window."

The government relied on informants like JR Rubeo who wore a wire on Merlino and other mobsters. Compiling hours of secretly recorded tapes. However, Rubeo got beat up by Merlino's lawyer Ed Jacobs on cross examination as did two other government witnesses.

We asked Merlino what he thought of Rubeo's testimony.

"Nah, can't say nothing," Merlino shot back, choosing not to discuss Rubeo's testimony.

So now the question is what happens to Merlino next? He recently overcame heart problems and appears to be tired of the governments relentless pursuit of the Philly mob. He's already spent over 15 years of his life behind bars. John Terry believes Merlino's future is uncertain at best.

"Is that the end of his career as a mobster. I don't know.," Terry said. "At some point, he's either gonna die of natural causes, die of an untimely death or wind up in jail for the rest of his life."

Merlino's lawyer, Ed Jacobs, told FOX 29 Tuesday night "This is the way the justice system works and we accept it."

Both sides will be back in court March 6th when a decision will likely be made on whether to re-try Merlino again or not.