BOSTON (CBS/AP) — The longtime girlfriend of Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger was sentenced to an extra 21 months in prison Thursday for refusing to testify about whether anyone else helped Bulger after he fled the city.
Catherine Greig already is serving an 8-year sentence for helping Bulger while he was a fugitive. The additional time will be served consecutively after her 8-year term. She already had nine months added to her prison time after she was found in civil contempt for refusing to testify before the grand jury.
Greig spent 16 years on the run with Bulger before they were captured in Santa Monica, California, in 2011.
Prosecutors said Greig refused to answer questions before the grand jury even after she was given immunity and after a judge issued an order compelling her to testify. They argued Greig should be sentenced to a little more than three years “for her conscious, considered, and unapologetic violation of the law.”
For the families of the victims, 21 additional months are not enough. “We’re a victim of all the time she kept the guy protected,” said Steve Davis, whose sister was allegedly killed by Bulger. He thinks Greig should reveal everything she knows.
Greig’s lawyer, Kevin Reddington, had argued that the 65-year-old Greig should get no more than six months added to her prison time.
“It is obvious that she is a kind, gentle woman who has literally done nothing bad in her life except fall in love with James Bulger and live with him for 16 years until their arrest,” Reddington wrote in a sentencing memo.
Bulger, now 86, is serving a life sentence after being convicted in 2013 for playing a role in 11 murders. WBZ-TV’s Liam Martin reported that, in response to Greig’s claim that loving Bulger was her only crime, the judge said, “It’s hard to imagine a less-worthy object of love.”
The judge continued, saying Greig committed a new crime–contempt–and that she had done so “deliberately and unapolagetically.”
“The principle that it’s wrong to snitch is a principle that ought to be rejected emphatically by all decent people,” he said, before issuing Greig’s sentence. “She knows the rules. She understands the consequences. She brought this upon herself and has no one else to blame.”
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