The lawyer for a New York man accused of killing a Gambino Family underboss claims his client believed the underboss was actually a member of the "deep state," which is believed by some to be a secret and coordinated government organization operating to undermine the Trump administration.

Francesco “Franky Boy” Cali, 53, was shot and killed on March 13, 2019, outside his New York City home. New York Police Department initially believed Cali’s murder had been a mob hit, given his history as an underboss in the Gambino crime family. Investigators were eventually led to 24-year-old Anthony Comello, who was arrested days later at his family’s home in New Jersey.

Comello’s defense attorney Robert Gottlieb is claiming Comello believed Cali was targeting President Trump for the “deep state.”

“He ardently believed that Francesco Cali, a boss in the Gambino crime family, was a prominent member of the deep state, and, accordingly, an appropriate target for a citizen’s arrest,” Gottlieb wrote in court documents submitted Friday in Staten Island court.

Before his hearing in March, Comello's left hand showed markings that read “MAGA Forever" as well as "Q" for the QAnon Movement, which contends that Trump is currently embroiled in a "deep state" battle with hidden forces that are the true force manipulating the government. QAnon signs and activists have also become common sights at Trump rallies during his presidency.

“Mr. Comello became certain that he was enjoying the protection of President Trump himself, and that he had the president’s full support,” Gottlieb continued in the documents.

Comello faces second-degree murder charges. His next court appearance is on Aug. 13.

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Pictured is a police cordon that surrounds the scene of a house fire in Sycamore Lane, Stafford, on Feb. 6, 2019 in England. Christopher Furlong/Getty Images