Belleville Native Testifies in Bergrin Trial

Another witness set to testify she was 'brainwashed' as a child by flamboyant attorney

The trial of defense attorney Paul Bergrin continued this week  in Newark, where the jury heard testimony from a number of witnesses, including a Belleville native, NorthJersey.com reported

Marilu Bruno, who no longer lives in the township, testified Wednesday that her estranged husband at the time, Norberto Velez, attacked her with a knife in 2001, the site reported. Prosecutors say Bergrin and Velez convinced the couple’s 9-year-old daughter to provide false testimony that helped Velez, Bergrin's client at the time, beat murder and other charges.

The now-adult daughter, Carolyn Velez, was scheduled to testify Thursday. But a judge ordered a delay until Friday after Bergrin said he had not had enough time to review a video of Velez’s statement to authorities. 

Bergrin, whose clients have included rap stars, alleged drug dealers and members of the US military, is accused of having used  his law practice as a cover for crimes ranging from prostitution to cocaine trafficking and murder. This is the second time Bergrin, who is representing himself, is being charged. A jury last year failed to reach a verdict in Bergrin’s first trial in 2011. 


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