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

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.