(Updated) Verdict watch begins in Whitey Bulger trial
After more than seven weeks of testimony, 70 witnesses and hundreds of pieces of evidence, the jurors deciding the fate of alleged mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger began their deliberations today.
Lawyers for both sides gave their closing arguments Monday, and the jury was sent to the jury room just before 11 a.m.
Judge Denise Casper gave the jury its instructions, which lasted about 90 minutes, and told the jurors that there is no reason to think the case could be tried better or be decided by a better jury.
“It is your duty to find the facts presented in this case,” Casper said. “The burden of proof is always on the government.”
Casper also reminded the jury that Bugler remains innocent until they reach a verdict otherwise.
“The fact that Mr. Bulger has had an indictment filed against him is no evidence of his guilt,” she said.
The jury will have to decide Bulger’s guilt on a 32-count indictment that includes charges for racketeering, murder, extortion, money laundering and illegal gun possession.
The 83-year-old Bulger was arrested in Santa Monica, Calif., in 2011 after 16 years on the run. Bulger fled after corrupt FBI agent John Connolly tipped him off just before law enforcement acted on an indictment.
It is not known how long the jury will deliberate, but scores of reporters were camped inside the courthouse. To find out the verdict immediately, follow Metro on Twitter exactly.
Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.