Lauren Calciano was, at the time, John Giuca’s girlfriend. Lauren was not at the party, however she testified that she went over to John’s house during the day on October 12th. She stated that Albert Cleary was also present, and that John told both of them that the following evening, Antonio Russo came up to him and said he didn’t like “Albert’s friend” and wanted to rob him. She stated that Russo asked John for a gun, and that John gave it to him.
She testified that John gave Mark a blanket and that Mark left the house with Russo.
Though Lauren and Albert were supposed to have been present for the same conversation, their accounts differ in every possible way- from the time of the meeting to the substance of the conversation. (see Lauren vs. Albert)
In 2014, Lauren recanted her testimony.
Included in Lauren’s sworn affidavit are some disturbing revelations of how exactly she was coerced into testifying against John. Among those are:
- Nicolazzi and the detectives acknowledging they were aware that Lauren’s father was in prison and if she didn’t cooperate she would ‘make it hard on him and [her] family.’ Lauren states that this threat caused her great distress, and influenced her the most in her decision to testify.
- Lauren wanted a career in law enforcement. Nicolazzi and the detectives told her constantly to “think about [her] future” and that not cooperating would “follow [her] the rest of [her] life.”
- At one point, an NYPD detective pulled her aside for a “woman to woman” conversation in which she told Lauren that detectives had recovered embarrassing photos of her.
- Nicolazzi threatened to publicly humiliate her if she did not cooperate, citing some very personal information she obtained through intercepted letters between Lauren and John. Nicolazzi told her that she didn’t want this information to come out at trial, insinuating that if she did not cooperate, it would…
- Nicolazzi told Lauren not to waste money on an attorney and “save the money for school”, even after they had already threatened her multiple times with arrest for obstruction and perjury
Regarding her testimony, she now says:
“I was present at John’s house with Albert Cleary the day after Mark Fisher was killed. John never stated that Tony asked him for a gun and he gave it to him, or that he gave Antonio Russo a gun before the shooting. I have regretted this testimony since I was first pressured to claim this by law enforcement, including ADA Nicolazzi.”
She did, however, stand by her assessment of Albert’s demeanor on that day:
“During this meeting, John was very calm. Albert Cleary, however, was nervous, pacing, and worried about whether Mark Fisher was alive.”