Accused Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger, arrested last week after 16 years on the run, won his request for a court-appointed lawyer to represent him.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler in federal court in Boston today approved 81-year-old Bulger’s request to appoint an attorney for him. J.W. Carney Jr., a lawyer with Carney & Bassil PC, will replace Peter Krupp, who had represented Bulger since his arrest.
Bugler asked the court last week to appoint an attorney, arguing that he can’t afford one because the government seized more than $800,000 from his California apartment after his arrest last week.
“Our Constitution guarantees every defendant the right to a fair trial and we’re going to see that he gets it,” Carney told reporters outside the courthouse.
Prosecutors had opposed the request, saying Bulger may have hidden assets and that his brother, William, a former Massachusetts state Senate president, might be willing to hire an attorney to represent him.
Bulger and his girlfriend, Catherine Greig, 60, were arrested after the Federal Bureau of Investigation, acting on a tip, lured the fugitive out of a Santa Monica apartment building.
Bulger was wanted in connection with 19 murders and a variety of crimes including extortion, loan sharking, bookmaking and narcotics trafficking. 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 case is U.S. v. Weeks, 99-cr-10371, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts (Boston).