Husband of murdered New Jersey radio host dead of apparent suicide

EMBED </>More Videos

David Novarro has the latest on the apparent suicide of Dr. James Kauffman, a suspect in the muder of his radio host wife.

Dr. James Kauffman, a suspect in the killing of his radio host wife and an alleged participant in a drug ring involving a motorcycle gang, was found dead in his jail cell Friday.

A Hudson County Correctional Center spokesperson confirmed Kauffman was found dead of an apparent suicide at 9:20 a.m.

No further details have been released.

Kauffman was awaiting trial on charges that he arranged for his wife, radio host and activist April Kauffman, to be murdered in 2012 so she wouldn't expose the drug ring.

The 68-year-old Kauffman was charged with murder and racketeering for his alleged involvement in both the drug ring involving the Pagans Motorcycle Club and the killing of April Kauffman.

Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner said during a news conference earlier this month that it all began back in 2011, when April Kauffman threatened a divorce. Investigators say she threatened to spend as much money as she could until a divorce was granted and threatened to expose the drug operation.

James Kauffman and a friend, 61-year-old Ferdinand Augello - allegedly a member of the Pagans - began looking for a hitman at that time, investigators said.

"James Kauffman stated he would sooner kill April than grant the divorce and lose 'half his empire,'" the prosecutor's office said.

It took nearly a year, but Tyner said a hitman was eventually found. That man is identified as Francis Mulholland, who authorities said is an associate of Joseph Mulholland, an alleged member of the drug enterprise.

Investigators say it was Francis Mulholland who entered the Kauffman's home in Linwood and shot April Kauffman twice, killing her. The prosecutor said Mulholland was paid at least $20,000 in cash, though that number could be higher. Francis Mulholland has since died of a drug overdose.

April Kauffman's only child, Kimberly Pack, addressed the media after the charges were announced.

"The details that emerged today I was not privy to, so it was hard to watch," she said. "It leaves you without words, just a gut-wrenching thing."

Along with James Kauffman, Ferdinand Augello and Joseph Mulholland, five others have also been charged with their alleged roles in the drug operation Kauffman is accused of running out of his Egg Harbor Township medical practice.

Investigators say Kauffman continued to run the drug operation even after his wife's murder, but it all ended after his arrest in June of 2017 on weapons charges.

That incident, included a standoff with police when authorities executed a search warrant at his office.

Dramatic body camera video from police showed him pulling a weapon and threatening to kill himself. Defense attorney Ed Jacobs said his client was reacting in fear that he was being arrested for the murder of his late wife April Kauffman during the June incident.
EMBED More News Videos

Body cam video shows standoff with James Kauffman. Annie McCormick reports during Action News at 11 p.m. on June 19, 2017.

Jacobs said Kauffman told police at the time: "I'm not going to go to jail for something I didn't do."

April Kauffman was a local businesswoman who hosted weekly talk shows and advocated for military veterans. She had received a governor's award for outstanding community service a few days before her death.
Related Topics:
murderSouth Jersey
(Copyright ©2019 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.)