Wednesday, June 21, 2000

Kidnap suspect faces trial on impersonation charge

By The Associated Press

        COVINGTON — A New Jersey man charged with kidnapping a businessman who was later found dead is to stand trial Aug. 14 on a charge he impersonated an FBI agent.

        Gregory J. Marcinski, 23, of Brick, N.J., has pleaded not guilty to the federal charge and remains in jail. He could receive a three-year prison sentence and $250,000 fine if convicted at trial before U.S. District Judge William Bertelsman.

        Mr. Marcinski also could face the death penalty if convicted of a Kentucky kidnapping charge in Boone County. State law allows capital punishment in cases where a kidnap victim is not released. The Boone County commonwealth attorney's office plans to take that case before a county grand jury next week.

        Mr. Marcinski is charged with abducting Paul Jeffrey Gale, 28, of Naples, Fla., on April 17. Mr. Gale's burned body was found in a shallow grave on April 27, about 2 miles from Mr. Marcinski's home in New Jersey. FBI agents said Mr. Gale had been strangled.

        Mr. Gale was abducted from a Northern Kentucky hotel where he been staying for his job as a computer consultant for a Ken tucky company, investigators said.

        Mr. Marcinski's lawyer, David Fessler of Covington, said he opposes having Mr. Marcinski tried in both state and federal courts using facts from the same case.

        Linda Tally Smith, an assistant commonwealth attorney, said Mr. Marcin ski can be prosecuted in both courts because he is charged with different crimes arising from the same case, she said.

        Mr. Marcinski could also face charges in New Jersey because that is where Mr. Gale's body was found, Mr. Smith said. No charges have been filed so far in that state, she said.


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