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Bulger Gets Public Defender; 1994 Racketeering Charges Dropped

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Whitey Bulger is taken to a Coast Guard helicopter to be transported back behind bars in Plymouth on Thursday, June 30.

Whitey Bulger is taken to a Coast Guard helicopter to be transported back behind bars in Plymouth on Thursday, June 30.

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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.

RACKETEERING CHARGES DROPPED

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.)

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