Bulger prosecution demands to know whether he will testify

j w carney j. w. carney jr boston bulger
James “Whitey” Bulger’s defense attorney, J. W. Carney Jr., has been coy about whether his client would testify on his own behalf.
Credit: Michael Naughton/Metro

With the defense team making its way through its witness list and moving closer to the possibility that James “Whitey” Bulger may testify, prosecutors demanded that they be told whether or not that will actually happen. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Fred Wyshak made the request in front of Judge Denise Casper before testimony began Wednesday in the trial of the 83-year-old mob boss.

“We’re obviously in one of the final days. … I think the government deserves to know whether or not the defendant is going to testify in this case,” Wyshak said. Prosecutors had requested this information earlier in the trial.

Casper said she planned to address the issue after Wednesday’s testimony and wanted to give the defense more time to consider it after hearing from more of their witnesses. However, Wyshak didn’t want to wait for the answer.

“He’s had two months to make that decision,” he said.

At the end of Wednesday, the defense team had called two more witnesses, bringing the total so far to four. Bulger’s lawyer J. W. Carney, Jr., said that there are about nine additional witnesses left to call.

After Wednesday’s testimony, Casper asked Carney to outline the remaining witnesses. After he named them, Carney was coy.

“That may not be the limit to the defense witnesses, your honor,” Carney said, leaving prosecutors and everyone else to guess whether Bulger will take the stand.

Before the start of the trial, Carney had repeatedly said Bulger would testify.

Testimony will continue Thursday.

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike


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