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CHICAGO – A convicted mobster, a Roman Catholic priest and a Stradivarius violin will be taking center stage in a Chicago courtroom.
The bench trial begins Wednesday of prison chaplain Eugene Klein. He's accused of trying to help imprisoned Chicago mobster Frank Calabrese Sr. recover the rare, 250-year-old violin hidden in Calabrese's old Wisconsin home.
Prosecutors allege the plot was hatched in 2011 when Klein administered daily communion to Calabrese at the Missouri prison where he's serving a life sentence for 13 murders, strangling some victims with a rope.
Prosecutors say the pair believed the instrument Calabrese hid years earlier was worth millions.
Klein's charged with conspiracy to defraud and attempting to prevent the seizure of Calabrese's property. He pleaded not guilty. The trial is expected to last two or three days.