Torricelli accident case postponed

Former Democratic senator hires another attorney to defend him.

By: Linda Seida
   The second day of the trial Tuesday of former Democratic Sen. Robert Torricelli was postponed because a new attorney has been hired to aid the defense and needs time to familiarize himself with the case, according to a court official.
   Attorney William P. Deni of Flemington will aid Lambertville attorney Jeffrey Weinstein in presenting the defense when the trial resumes.
   The decision to postpone was made Monday afternoon. The trial will continue Feb. 26 in West Amwell Municipal Court, according to Mr. Deni.
   Mr. Deni is a Lambertville native who graduated from South Hunterdon Regional High School in 1964. He has worked as a criminal attorney for 31 years.
   The trial had been continued from Dec. 4 when testimony lasting three hours was heard before Judge Richard Cushing in the West Amwell Municipal Court. The case had been moved to the larger courtroom from Lambertville because of an influx of media.
   Lambertville police charged the former senator Aug. 29 with leaving the scene of an accident. An eyewitness for Prosecutor Philip J. Faherty III, Kenneth Nanni of Lambertville, a contractor for 34 years, testified he saw a man driving Mr. Torricelli’s Jeep when it backed into a car owned by Main Street Market owner Edward O’Leary in the shop’s parking lot. A woman was in the passenger seat, Mr. Nanni testified.
   Mr. Torricelli, however, was adamant in his statement he was not driving the vehicle. It was his former wife, Susan Holloway, who was in the driver’s seat, the former senator said.
   He claimed Mr. Nanni couldn’t have seen him because the Jeep’s tinted windows were closed because the air conditioner was running while he waited for Ms. Holloway to finish shopping in the market.
   Mr. Torricelli has claimed police singled him out because of who he is.
   Despite repeated attempts, Mr. Weinstein could not shake the testimony of Mr. Nanni, who said he was standing on a porch adjacent to the lot at the time of the fender bender.