Bulger Gets Public Defender; 1994 Racketeering Charges Dropped

BOSTON (CBS/AP) — A judge has granted reputed mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger a taxpayer-funded attorney, who will now fight fewer charges against his client.

Attorney JW Carney, Jr. will represent Bulger, who will be arraigned on July 6 at 2 p.m.

Despite at least $800,000 in frozen assets recovered from Whitey Bulger’s apartment, the judge ruled that the 81-year-old meets the criteria to get a court-appointed attorney. Prosecutors had previously argued that Bulger has millions of dollars stashed around the world, and has no problem affording his defense.

WBZ-TV’s Jim Armstrong reports.

Carney had what he called a “wonderful” first meeting with Bulger Thursday afternoon, and said his new client is happy to know who his lawyer is.

Carney’s pay is limited by federal statute; he’ll get only $9,600 for this case, though he can petition for more.

Carney is also the lawyer for Tarek Mehanna, the Sudbury man accused of plotting terror attacks against Americans here and overseas.


Earlier Thursday afternoon, a federal judge granted a bid by prosecutors to dismiss a 1994 racketeering indictment against Bulger so they can focus on a 1999 indictment charging him in connection with 19 murders.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Lana Jones reports.

Krupp had challenged an attempt by U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz to dismiss a 1994 indictment and focus on a more serious 1999 indictment. Krupp wanted the two cases consolidated and accused prosecutors of “forum shopping” by trying to drop the older case.

Judge Mark Wolf ruled Thursday that prosecutors were within their rights to dismiss the case. He rejected Krupp’s claim that prosecutors were “judge shopping.”

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Bernice Corpuz reports.

Relatives of Whitey’s alleged victims were satisfied with the judge’s ruling regarding the 1994 charges, as long as it brings Bulger to justice sooner.

Bulger was transferred to and from court in a Coast Guard helicopter, which costs nearly $14,000 per hour to fly.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • Joan Hogan

    Attorney Michael Fee Is Righteous In his Statement About ” Bulger ” . Symbolicaly This could appear as ” Battle Of The Buldge ” Or from The 1970’S
    Television Series Of ” Welcome Back Kotter ” .

  • Denise

    Someone else had mentioned that he should not be any add’l burden to the tax payer! He should be represented by Law Students to need the practice – after all this is going to go on for years… I agree! Why should we foot the bill for his representation? We already foot the bill for SOOOOO many people – if he can’t afford to pay for his representation (from all the $$ he stole) then he should take a needle! After all for the rest of his life we’ll already be paying for him to stay in jail… and I”m sure the conditions won’t be harsh!

  • Mark

    Only one week and this is already costing us thousands. 2 huge SUV’s 2 state police cruisers plus drivers and a round trip from Plymouth to Boston. Multiplied by the number of years before this even goes to trial and we it will be in the millions. No wonder Whitey is laughing.

  • msw

    He was flown by helicopter to his hearing today at a cost of 14k to the taxpayers. Why isn’t this POS being transported shackled in a paddy wagon like anyone else or housed at Nashua Street?

  • harry


  • John

    What is wrong with this state? Why don’t we just let every criminal get a court appointed attorney. The state and certain towns and cities are in flux all across the state, and now this. C’mon now, this has to stop. The legal system is broken, it’s been broken, can we please fix the system? Please! Think about what money spent (and potentially spent) holding / prosecuting this guy (& Grieg) would have done out in the western part of the state where the tornadoes happened.

  • Joan Hogan

    Whitey Bulger getting A Court appointed Attorney Is Unbelievable .. Why with
    all the money he has , Hidden Money supposedly should taxpayers be insulted
    and victimized again and again. I suppose we are now paying for his meds that
    he originally claims to get In Mexico. Why can’t The Money for The Movie rights to his story be advanced to him , and let that pay his legal fees.

  • taxedout

    Biggest Chump state in the nation..Like your judges…Pay Up!!!!!

  • Willow

    It appears that Bulger is still in the racketeering business. Once this case is settled, his “frozen” assets should be used to pay back the state for his attorney fees.

  • Willow

    Forgot to mention that the taxpayers not only are footing the bill for this man’s defense, but for his helicopter ride also at $14,000 an hour. You just can’t make this stuff up.

    • Willow

      Sorry, I believe it is $1400 an hour, not $14,000. That’s still a lot of money being spend needlessly at the taxpayers expense.

  • tsal

    I agree that his court appointed attorney should be the same attorney anyone else would have and not someone who is high powered. I love the idea of a law student.

    As far as the helicopter and being placed in Plymouth instead of Nashua Street (which would be typical for the average person being held in jail from Southie), I think we have to understand that the authorities know a whole lot more than we do and trust that. Anyone interested in seeing him escape? The average “Paddy wagon” as someone called it is not equipped to handle the many (on both sides of the law) who want to see Whitey freed so he can’t talk.

    • Willow

      tsal, I’m sure you’re correct, and that there are those who would want to see him escape. However, the way the wheels of justice move, it will be a miracle if Whitey ever stands trial for any of his crimes. He’s 81 years old and has lived the best part of his life rich and free. I really don’t think there’s anything they can do to him now that will be justice for any of the grieving families. I’m afraid he will go out with the last laugh. So it is $14,000 an hour for the helicopter ride. I thought I was mistaken.

      • tsal

        Willow, He will go out with the last laugh – I agree. He is already doing so and it will take a long while IMHO before he even goes to trial. In the meantime, I continue to agree with the extra security. If those who want him freed have the opportunity to do so, it will not just be his freedom but would more than likely mean the loss of life of those guarding him – right down to the two regulars who typically transport a detainee to court. At that point it becomes far worse than just tax payer dollars. And he will have succeeded in taking yet more lives.

  • http://boston.cbslocal.com/2011/07/01/whitey-bulgers-helicopter-ride-to-court-cost-14000/ Whitey Bulger’s Helicopter Ride To Court Cost $14,000 « CBS Boston

    […] var addthis_share = { templates: { twitter: "{{title}} {{url}}" } }; }BOSTON (CBS) – Whitey Bulger’s ride to federal court Thursday was […]

  • Irene Boucher

    Only in America!!!!!!!!!!!
    The guy is how old????
    And why didn’t we send him to another state to face those charges first????
    At least there is the deathe penalty there!! Then we could just drop all the charges here!
    We didn’t learn any lessons in the OJ trial did we!!!

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