A New York City judge says John A. "Junior" Gotti should remain behind bars while he awaits trial on charges he was involved in three gangland murders and cocaine trafficking.

Manhattan Judge Kevin Castel ruled Thursday against a defense motion asking that Gotti be freed on bail so he could help prepare his defense. The government had argued the 44-year-old defendant is a risk to the public.

Gotti is the son of the late Gambino crime family boss John Gotti. He was arrested last year on a racketeering indictment brought against him in Tampa, Fla.

The case was later transferred to New York.

Gotti's lawyers say prosecutors indicted him with old evidence that has not worked at three previous trials that ended with hung juries.