Humor seeped into the courtroom of U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds this morning when witness Marc Andre Cunningham kept laughing during what was a serious line of questioning from defense attorney John Shea.
After Shea made a reference to Cunningham knowing local consultant Chris Jackson because they were “part of that African-
American circuit,” Cunningham started laughing. Shea clarified, saying Jackson had gone to Howard, a historically black college, and Cunningham went to Florida A&M, also a black school.
As Shea kept asking questions, Cunningham continued to chuckle, reaching for a cup of water.
“Mr. Cunningham, I don’t know why you’re laughing. It’s like that movie, ‘do I amuse you?’ ”
It was the trial’s second reference to the famous Joe Pesci scene from “Goodfellas.”
Cunningham played along, adding the line, “funny like a clown?”
Witness Tony Soave triggered a similar reaction when he said defense attorney Mike Rataj was a “funny guy.” Rataj then turned to his colleagues and began replaying the now famous Pesci lines which preceded a brutal attack on a restaurant employee.
Cunningham has said he kicked back money to Shea’s client, Bernard Kilpatrick. Shea’s questioning has tripped up Cunningham, making him contradict himself at times and appearing confused at others.
After Shea finished, he started laughing again.