Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Both sides rest their case at Whitey Bulger trial

James "Whitey" Bulger’s lawyers used their closing arguments Monday to go after three gangsters who took the stand against the Boston crime boss, while prosecutors painted Bulger as a violent, vicious killer who must be convicted.

Jury deliberations will begin Tuesday in the 8-week trial of Bulger, 83, who faces a sweeping, 32-count indictment that includes racketeering and extortion charges as well as 19 murders.

Defense lawyers took a patriotic tone, telling jurors they could stand up to government corruption by acquitting Bulger.

They attacked the credibility of three key government witnesses: former hit man John "The Executioner" Martorano, onetime Bulger protege Kevin Weeks and ruthless killer Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi.

Defense attorney J.W. Carney Jr. said the former Bulger loyalists decided to “add a little Bulger to the mix” to almost every crime they were questioned about so they could get time shaved off their sentences.

“The witnesses are selling their testimony to the government,” Carney said. “The currency that’s used here: How much freedom is the person going to get? The currency is the power of the government to keep someone locked up in a cell, surrounded by four concrete walls topped by barbed wires.”

Prosecution lawyer Fred Wyshak used his closing argument to recap Bulger’s worst crimes, including two male victims chained to chairs for hours, interrogated, then shot in the head; two women who were strangled; and two men who died in a hail of gunfire as they left a south Boston restaurant.

Wyshak went through the murders individually, tying each to Bulger.

“Mr. Bulger is the leader. He's the boss,” Wyshak said, while Bulger kept his head down and took notes.

Wyshak later called the defense team’s remarks that the government buys witnesses “slanderous and a low-life remark by Mr. Carney.”



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