Ex-Glock CEO defense lawyers take aim at gun theft charge

Lawyers for Paul Jannuzzo -- convicted last month of stealing a custom LaFrance pistol and conspiring to siphon millions from the company -- are taking aim at the gun theft charge that served as the linchpin of the state's case. An affidavit filed by company founder Gaston Glock's son, Robert Glock, indicates that both he and his father knew all along that Jannuzzo had the pistol.

In more than 60 pages of new motions, the defense is asking that the conviction be voided, that prosecutors be disqualified for misconduct for failing to properly investigate, and that the April 11 sentencing date be pushed back so that the issues they raised can be heard.

Cobb County District Attorney Pat Head said Tuesday that Jannuzzo's lawyers are grasping at straws with little chance of success.

"It's just never over for some people," Head said.

Glock Inc., the North American subsidiary of the Austrian gun manufacturing company, is headquartered in Smyrna. Jannuzzo served as the general counsel, CEO and public face of the company through the 1990s and the early part of this century.

It was during that time that prosecutors say he conspired with another Glock executive, Peter S. Manown, to divert money from Glock accounts into their own pockets. The defense claims Gaston Glock, an octogenarian who lives in Austria, has been out to get Jannuzzo ever since he stormed into Glock's house in Smyrna and quit in 2003.

Both sides have acknowledged that if the state couldn't prove Jannuzzo stole the pistol that Glock loaned to him during his employment, the rest of the state's case would crumble. The other charges on which a jury convicted Jannuzzo were time-barred from being prosecuted because they allegedly happened more than four years before he was indicted in 2008.

Because the gun was discovered in Jannuzzo's possession in 2007, prosecutors used Georgia racketeering law to link the gun theft to a host of earlier offenses that they said were part of an ongoing pattern of racketeering.

But the defense team of Robert Citronberg and John Da Grosa Smith filed a new affidavit this week obtained from the company founder's son, Robert Glock, that indicates the company knew Jannuzzo had the pistol.

According to the affidavit, an attorney for the company brought Robert Glock a list of the guns Jannuzzo still had in his possession shortly after he resigned in 2003. The attorney told Glock that Jannuzzo wished to return them. Glock said he passed the note on to his father.

"My father said that he would take care of the request and no further action by me or Kevin Conner [Jannuzzo's successor as general counsel] should be made," Glock said in the affidavit.

Head, the district attorney, questioned the timing of the affidavit. He indicated that a battle going on within the Glock family about ownership of the company may have been the motivation for the younger Glock to become involved.

"If they had that evidence before then, why didn’t they bring it in?" Head said. "Right now there is a multimillion-dollar positioning going on, and it may be to Robert Glock's benefit if Jannuzzo were not convicted."

According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Gaston Glock's wife of 49 years and her three adult children are trying to reclaim a stake in the company that they lost when the wealthy patriarch divorced her in 2001 and married a woman 50 years his junior.

Superior Court Judge LaTain Kell could sentence Jannuzzo to 30 years in prison for the charges for which he was convicted.

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