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

Friday, November 9, 2012

Judge gives Whitey Bulger new trial date

US District Court Judge Richard Stearns today changed the date for the trial of James “Whitey’’ Bulger, scheduling it roughly four months later than federal prosecutors said was justifiable for a longtime fugitive, and about five months early than defense attorneys argued was needed to protect the accused killer’s constitutional rights.

Stearns, in a 13-page order issued this afternoon, set June 6 for juror selection to get underway in US District Court in Boston. Opening statements by defense attorney J.W. Carney, Jr. and prosecutors from US Attorney Carmen Ortiz’s office are set to be heard four days later.

“The goal is to determine a task-oriented schedule that is, on the one hand, fair to the defendant in giving his counsel adequate time to prepare for trial and, on the other hand, fair to the government, the public and the families of the alleged victims, by not unnecessarily delaying a case that they desire to be resolved as openly and expeditiously as possible,’’ Stearns wrote.

Bulger had been set to go on trial March 4, but Carney had complained that federal prosecutors had handed over so much evidence, and had done so in such a disorganized fashion, that he would need at least until next November to be ready for trial.

Ortiz’s office, meanwhile, said Bulger’s trial had been delayed long enough, since he spent 16 years on the run after learning from corrupt FBI agents that he was about to be indicted for a variety of crimes, including having an alleged role in 19 murders.

Bulger, now 83, was once one of America’s Most Wanted until his capture in June, 2011, in Santa Monica, California, in the same rent-controlled apartment where he had been staying during most of his 16 years on the lam. He faces a federal racketeering indictment accusing him of 19 murders.

Bulger has pleaded not guilty to all charges and is currently being held at the Plymouth County Correctional Facility. Last Sunday, he was taken Boston Medical Center after complaining of chest pains, and was returned to the facility by Tuesday, officials have said.



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