Catherine Greig to serve eight year jail sentence (UPDATED)
Catherine Greig is going to spend nearly eight years behind bars, but going to prison may not be the hardest part for the 61-year-old.
Being apart from her boyfriend, alleged fugitive mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger, will prove to be difficult if she’s as in love with the 82-year-old as her lawyer says.
“She’s in love with the guy,” said Kevin Reddington, Greig’s defense attorney. “She does not regret living her life with him.”
Part of Reddington’s defense of Greig has been that she was so in love with him that she fell victim to him.
“The point is Catherine Greig fell in love with Mr. Bulger,” Reddington told Judge Douglas Woodlock during her sentencing hearing in federal court yesterday.
Woodlock didn’t buy the reasoning and sentenced Greig to eight years in jail, a $150,000 fine and three years of supervised release.
“I’m imposing a sentence for deliberate choices that were harmful to the community,” Woodlock said. “We are all responsible for what we do. We all make choices.”
Greig showed no emotion as she was sentenced.
U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Carmen Ortiz also did not buy Reddington’s argument.
“Just because you love someone doesn’t mean that you get to break the law and then get away with it,” Ortiz said. “This was not a romantic saga. This was a serious case.”
Greig and Bulger were on the run for 16 years and dated before they fled from Boston when he was indicted. They fled across the country and eventually settled in an apartment in Santa Monica not far from the beach.
While there, they took on other identities and lived like a retired couple. Prosecutors said she would run to the pharmacy to fill Bulger’s prescriptions and would cook for him.
Prosecutors said agents recovered Greig’s notebook from the apartment shortly after the couple was arrested last year. One of the pages lists errands including “change sheets” and “vitamins.”
Reddington said Greig doesn’t believe Bulger is guilty of the crimes he is accused of, which include being connected to 19 murders.
He also said he thinks Greig thinks going to prison for living with Bulger was worth it.
Victims’ families share ‘cruel’ words
Family members of James “Whitey” Bulger’s alleged victims were given the chance to speak during Greig’s sentencing yesterday in what became an outpouring of emotion that was pent up for 16 years.
“Catherine, you’re a dirty bitch,” said Steven Davis, whose sister Debra was allegedly killed by Bulger.
Greig’s attorney had filed a request this week to bar the family members from speaking, claiming that they are not direct victims of Greig’s harboring or identity fraud crimes.
However, Judge Douglas Woodlock said he considered the history involved in the case and used his discretion to allow them to speak. He also said “it’s the right thing.” He later called the families’ statements “cruel” and “reflecting vengeance.”
“You’re a cold-hearted criminal,” said Tim Connors, whose father Edward was an alleged Bulger victim, “If I had a sister like you, I would have killed myself, too.”
Conners was referencing Greig’s relative who committed suicide.
Greig chose not to speak.
A troubled history
boston. The Bulger saga has been a stain on the history of many law enforcement agencies, particularly the Boston FBI office and the Department of Justice.
Judge Woodlock said the case “illustrates how the criminal justice system simply broke down because insiders took control.”
It was eventually revealed Bulger was an informant and was tipped off by a corrupt FBI agent before his indictment.
U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz said the agencies have improved.
James “Whitey” Bulger is the next target of the U.S. Attorney’s office.
US Attorney Carmen Ortiz said that prosecutors are now focused on being prepared for Bulger’s trial later this year.
“Keeping our eye on the ball. We’re getting ready for trial. We’ve got a trial date in November and we’ve got another team getting ready to go,” she said.
Bulger’s attorneys and prosecutors are due in court next week for a status conference.
The 82-year-old is set to go to trial in November.