“Whitey” Bulger declines to take the stand, offers $822,000 to two victims
Tells judge he has not received a fair trial
James Whitey Bulger angrily denounced his own murder trial as 'a sham' on Friday and told the judge, without the jury present, that he will not take the stand in his own defense.
According to CNN, Bulger's comments provoked a heated response from the widow of a man who is one of nineteen people Bulger is charged with killing.
'My thing is... I didn't get a fair trial,' said Bulger. 'This is a sham. Do what ya's want with me,' the alleged Irish mafia boss told the federal judge.
Bulger, 83, also told the judge he had a deal with now-deceased Jeremiah O'Sullivan, the former head of the Justice Department's New England Organized Crime Strike Force and US Attorney who was active in Boston at the height of Bulger's allegedly brutal reign.
'In return he promised to give me immunity. As far as I'm concerned I didn't get a fair trial,' Bulger said.
Judge Denise Casper questioned Bulger over his decision not to testify.
Bulger replied: 'I'm making the choice involuntarily. I feel I've been choked off from making an adequate defense.'
Bulger's comments enraged the wife of a man he allegedly killed who shouted at him in disgust. 'You're a coward!' Patricia Donahue yelled when Bulger insisted he would not testify.
Bulger is charged with killing Donahue's husband, Michael. When the jury returned to the courtroom, the defense rested, concluding 35 days of testimony.
Bulger's claim to immunity stands in contrast to the claims made by his legal defense. Bulger's lawyers reportedly spent a significant part of the seven-week trial disputing claims that Bulger was an FBI informant.
Meanwhile, although the government has seized Bulger's money, meaning technically it no longer belongs to him, he has nonetheless said he is prepared to forfeit the assets found in his Santa Monica, California, apartment to the families of two men he is accused of murdering.
Nearly $822,000 was found in the alleged Boston Irish mob boss's possession when he was arrested in 2011.
'My client is prepared to have all the money forfeited to the victims' family that prevailed at trial first, but had it reversed because of... a highly technical court process,' Bulger's attorney J.W. Carney said on Friday.
But only if Bulger is found innocent and the money is found to have been earned legitimately, both unlikely prospects, would it be returned.
Judge Caspar previously ruled that Bulger could not argue immunity as defense in this trial. The jury will begin hearing closing arguments on Monday.
Outside of court, Tommy Donahue, the son of Michael Donahue, shared in his mother's anger and called Bulger 'a rat coward.'
'He is going to take his secrets to the grave with him,' Donahue said.
In all, the defense reportedly called 10 witnesses over five days. Prosecutors called 63 witnesses.
The Donahue family has been in court virtually every day of this trial.
In a 32-count indictment, prosecutors accuse Bulger of participating in 19 murders, racketeering, money laundering and extortion over two decades.
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