BOSTON (AP) — A former FBI agent pleaded guilty Monday to lying on the stand during Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger’s trial.
Robert Fitzpatrick, 76, was accused of lying to jurors and overstating his professional accomplishments during Bulger’s 2013 racketeering trial. He pleaded guilty in federal court to six counts each of perjury and obstruction of justice.
Fitzpatrick, who had been second-in-command of the FBI’s Boston division during Bulger’s bloody reign, was the first witness Bulger’s lawyers called during the high-profile trial.
Prosecutors say Fitzpatrick falsely claimed to be the first officer who recovered the rifle used to assassinate Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968.
During the 2013 trial, Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Kelly pressed Fitzpatrick about that claim.
“Isn’t it true that three Memphis police officers found the rifle that was used to kill Martin Luther King, not Bob Fitzpatrick?” Kelly asked.
“I found the rifle along with them,” Fitzpatrick replied. “They could have been there … but I’m the one that took the rifle.”
Prosecutors also suggested that Fitzpatrick exaggerated claims he tried to persuade supervisors to terminate Bulger as an informant because he didn’t appear to be gathering information on the Mafia. They suggested he was just trying to sell copies of a book he wrote about Bulger.
The prosecution and defense have agreed to a sentence of two years of probation. Sentencing is Aug. 5.
Bulger was convicted of a range of gangland crimes in the 1970s and ’80s, including roles in 11 murders. He’s currently serving two life sentences.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Lana Jones reports
Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.