James ‘Whitey’ Bulger will go on trial in Boston on November 5th after 16 years on the run.
A magistrate judge has set the date for the trial after rejecting a plea from Bulger’s lawyers for more time to prepare.
Alleged gangster Bulger, the former leader of the Winter Hill Gang, will face the court on charges of participating in 19 murders.
The Irishman was captured in Santa Monica, California, in June, after years in hiding.
A Federal Court hearing on Monday heard Bulger’s attorney, J.W. Carney Jr, claim that his firm needed at least another 12 months to sort through more than 500,000 documents and nearly 1,000 tapes prosecutors have turned over to the defence.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Kelly claimed that the 82-year-old Bulger is trying to ‘run out the clock’ to avoid trial altogether.
Kelly said: “To suggest that he needs a full year ... I don’t think is appropriate.”
Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler told Carney that she understands what a ‘monumental task’ reviewing the materials will be.
Judge Bowler said she ‘would consider’ Carney’s request to hire additional lawyers and scheduled a status hearing for March 19th.
FBI informant Bulger fled Boston in 1995 after being tipped by his handler John Connolly Jr.
Connolly recently completed a 10-year prison sentence on racketeering charges and is now serving a 40-year sentence for helping to set in motion a mob hit in 1982 against a business executive.
Victim’s son Tom Donahue said the families of other victims want to see Bulger go to trial.
“My biggest fear is delays,” said Donahue whose father, Michael, a truck driver, was killed during a hit on a man who was cooperating with investigators against Bulger.
Michael Donahue gave the man a ride home. Bulger and another man are accused of riddling their car with bullets.