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Thomas Puccio, lawyer for von Bulow, dies at 67

NEW YORK (AP) – A prominent defense lawyer who won an acquittal for socialite Claus von Bulow on charges of trying to kill his heiress wife has died. He was 67.

Manhattan’s Frank E. Campbell funeral home says Thomas Puccio died Monday of leukemia in New Haven, Conn.

Puccio was born in Brooklyn and graduated from Fordham University Law School.

He began his career as a federal prosecutor, winning the convictions of several members of Congress in the Abscam scandal.

Puccio’s clients as a defense lawyer included Alex Kelly, a former high school wrestling star who fled to Europe before his rape trial and lived a jet-set life for years before surrendering.

More recently, he defended estate lawyer Francis X. Morrissey Jr., who was convicted of plundering the fortune of ailing philanthropist Brooke Astor.

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