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New Judge In Bulger Case Schedules First Hearing

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James "Whitey" Bulger (Photo from U.S. Marshals Service)

James “Whitey” Bulger (Photo from U.S. Marshals Service)

BOSTON (AP) — The new judge assigned to preside at the trial of gangster James “Whitey” Bulger has scheduled a status conference in the case for next week.

U.S. District Judge Denise Casper was randomly assigned to the case last week after the 1st U.S. District Court of Appeals granted a defense request to remove U.S. District Judge Richard Stearns.

The court found that Stearns’ work as a federal prosecutor during the time when Bulger claims he received immunity from another federal prosecutor could create the appearance of bias.

The 83-year-old Bulger, who led the Winter Hill Gang, is awaiting trial on charges of playing a role in 19 murders in the 1970s and ’80s.

Casper has scheduled a status conference for March 26.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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