James ‘Whitey’ Bulger’s Bid for Lawyer to Be Heard Tomorrow, Judge Decides

James “Whitey” Bulger, the accused Boston mobster arrested last week after 16 years on the run, will have his bid for a court-appointed lawyer heard tomorrow, a federal judge ruled.

U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf in Boston set the new date today. He previously scheduled the hearing for June 29. The judge scheduled a detention hearing on Bulger’s girlfriend, Catherine Greig, for June 30.

Bulger, 81, asked the court last week to appoint an attorney to represent him, arguing that he can’t afford one because the government seized more than $800,000 from his California apartment after his June 23 arrest.

Prosecutors opposed the request, saying Bulger may have hidden assets and that his brother, William, a former president of the Massachusetts Senate, might be willing to hire an attorney to represent him.

“It is important that the issue of Bulger’s eligibility for the appointment of counsel be decided as promptly as possible to permit the case to proceed,” Wolf wrote in a memorandum and order dated yesterday.

The fugitive mobster and Greig, 60, were arrested in Santa Monica, California, by the Federal Bureau of Investigation after authorities, acting on a tip, lured Bulger out of their apartment, where the money and more than 30 weapons were found.

Bulger was wanted in connection with 19 murders and a variety of crimes including extortion, loan sharking, bookmaking and narcotics trafficking.

$2 Million Reward

He was one of the FBI’s Top 10 most-wanted fugitives. The bureau offered a $2 million reward for information leading to his capture.

The arrests came a day after the FBI’s Boston office aired public-service announcements about Greig, who fled with Bulger in 1995. She was wanted for harboring a criminal and isn’t accused in any of his crimes, the FBI said in a June 20 statement about the ad campaign.

The case is U.S. v. Bulger, 1:94-cr-10287, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts (Boston):

To contact the reporters on this story: Chris Dolmetsch in New York at cdolmetsch@bloomberg.net; Janelle Lawrence in Boston at jmlawren@aol.com.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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