Whitey Bulger: Lawyer says Bulger was never an informant

(File)
(File)

The lawyer for accused mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger repeatedly said that the former fugitive was never a government informant and that there was another reason why he was allegedly given immunity.

But the lawyer, J. W. Carney, Jr., did not offer a reason for the immunity Bulger claimed was given to him by a former assistant US attorney.

“We’re going to present that answer when the trial starts on June 10,” Carney said when asked repeatedly by reporters about the reason for the immunity.

Carney’s comments come one week after prosecutors released a partial transcript of a recorded conversation Bulger, 83, had with his brother while in a Plymouth jail. In the transcript, which was part of a court filing, Bulger said he never gave information to authorities, but that he instead paid for it.

Bulger’s claim of immunity appears to be his central defense to the federal charges facing him, which include murder and racketeering. It was also the subject of a hearing in federal court Wednesday.

Prosecutors requested the hearing and argued that Bulger has not only presented no evidence to back up his immunity claim, but that he has no legal standing for it.

Assistant US Attorney Zach Hafer said there is a “lack of legal support” for the framework Carney laid out to support the immunity issue.

Federal prosecutors asked a judge to rule on the immunity issue before trial. Carney wants the jury to decide the immunity issue.

“To remove his defense of immunity from being presented to the jury … would in effect deny him his right to a fair trial,” Carney said.

Carney has so far revealed few details about the immunity agreement other than that it was allegedly promised to him by former Assistant US Attorney Jeremiah O’Sullivan.

Hafer argued that even if there was an immunity agreement, O’Sullivan would not have been able to authorize Bulger to kill citizens.

“As a matter of law, an assistant U.S. attorney does not have authority to allow the killing of U.S. citizens,” Hafer said.

A decision on whether the jury will get to decide the immunity issue is weeks away as Judge Richard Stearns gave both sides two weeks to file supporting memorandums.

Families react
The family members of Bulger’s alleged victims appeared in court Wednesday to hear the arguments around the immunity issue.

Steven Davis, whose sister Debra was killed in 1981, said that if the judge lets the immunity claim be decided by the jury then the judge should step down.

“He has to prove it,” Davis said of Bulger’s claim.

Sandra Patient, whose uncle Arthur “Bucky” Barrett was allegedly killed by Bulger, said she believes a jury wouldn’t believe the immunity claim.

“The fact that Bulger is saying he has immunity is sick,” she said. “He pulled it out of a hat.”

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

After Eric Garner death, religious leaders meet to…

Interfaith leaders convened with city officials to discuss what the community can do to help dial down heightened tensions after Eric Garner's death.

Local

'Suspicious' Hamilton Heights fire caused by power strip:…

An extension cord overload caused the deadly fire in Hamilton Heights late Monday that killed a 15-year-old girl and injured at least 12 others.

National

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

By Piya Sinha-RoyLOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Marvel Entertainment's chief emeritus Stan Lee may be in his ninth decade, but it hasn't stopped him from adding…

National

Islamic State says beheads U.S. journalist, holds another

Islamic State insurgents released a video purportedly showing the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley, who had gone missing in Syria nearly two years ago.

Movies

Review: Sadly, Matthew Weiner's 'Are You Here' is…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner tries his hand at movies with "Are You Here," a misjudged Owen Wilson-Zach Galifianakis comedy that turns into a drama.

Movies

Review: 'Love is Strange' is not only a…

John Lithgow and Alfred Molina tie the knot in "Love is Strange," but the film winds up being more about living with people than an activist picture.

Movies

Frank Miller on writing 'Sin City'

Frank Miller's comics career is a long and storied one, with "Sin City" being one of his most individual creations. Here, in his own words,…

Movies

Interview: Jessica Alba is a stripper again in…

Jessica Alba has gotten used to vague phone calls from director Robert Rodriguez, the Austin-based auteur who has made a habit of putting Alba into…

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL defense (DEF)

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL quarterbacks (QB)

MLB

Shane Greene travels unlikely road to Yankees stardom

Shane Greene was throwing a bullpen session on a quiet field at Daytona Beach Community College one day when the ball started moving.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL tight ends (TE)

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…

Wellbeing

What eye symptoms need emergency attention?

Many people experience temporary eye-related problems such as pink eye (conjunctivitis) from a cold virus or a scratched cornea resulting from an object coming into…

Sex

Big weddings may lead to longterm happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. A new…

Parenting

Fun family activity: Off-Broadway show for pre-teens

"The Love Note" is an off-Broadway musical your pre-teen won't roll his or her eyes at.