3 DOCTORS TESTIFY PATRIARCA IS TOO SICK TO FACE CHARGES
Three doctors testified yesterday that reputed New England crime boss Raymond L.S. Patriarca is so feeble that traveling to Miami to face a labor racketeering charge could kill him.
A heart surgeon testifying at Patriarca's removal hearing said the alleged mobster is in such precarious condition with heart ailments and diabetes that forcing the trip on him "would be, from a medical standpoint, madness." Robert A. Indeglia, who said he examined Patriarca yesterday morning, agreed with other psysicians who advised against the journey.
Barbara Roberts, Patriarca's cardiologist, testified earlier that he has only a 50-50 chance of surviving the year under the best of conditions.
Eugene B. McKee, a general practioner who does medical evaluations for the Federal Aviation Administration on candidates for pilots' licenses, also testified that Patriarca "has to be a substantial risk to fly in any form of air transportation."
A ruling on Patriarca's transfer to Miami is expected today.
"I think that were he removed from Rhode Island to go to Miami for the purpose of this arraignment, that he would be at a very high risk of either having a heart attack or a fatal arhythmia," she said, referring to a recurring irregularity in his heartbeat.
She said his condition is complicated by circulation problems associated with diabetes and a "profound depression that only increases the risk of sudden death." Subjecting him to such a trip would be "indefensible," she said.
Roberts scoffed at the notion that Patriarca might be exaggerating his health problems to avoid facing the federal indictment or other pending charges.
"There is no controversy about Mr. Patriarca's condition. Every cardiologist who has seen him has said exactly the same thing. . . .This man is extremely sick and shouldn't stand trial," she said.
Her testimony came during a federal hearing on whether Patriarca, 73, is healthy enough to travel to Miami to enter a plea on racketeering charges. Patriarca and four other men were indicted Sept. 23 for allegedly manipulating Laborers' International Union funds.
Patriarca, who allegedly has controlled organized crime in New England for more than 30 years, has been hospitalized three times since his arrest at his Johnston home last Dec. 4 on an unrelated accessory-to-murder charge.
He faces murder accessory charges involving the slaying of underworld figures in 1965 and 1968, but his lawyers have used his allegedly failing health to delay court proceedings.
Patriarca was not required to be present at yesterday's hearing.
Roberts said Patriarca has rejected her recommendation that he have a a pacemaker implanted.