James "Whitey" Bulger

Judge grants extension for Bulger to defend immunity claim

U.S. District Judge Richard Stearns granted an extension for notorious mobster James “Whitey” Bulger and his defense team, headed by public defender J.W. Carney Jr., to file paperwork demonstrating that Bulger received immunity from the late U.S. Attorney Jeremiah O’Sullivan to engage in criminal activity while working as an informant.

Judge Stearns initially slated Friday January 4 as the deadline for the defense to file its response, but Carney notified Stearns on New Year’s Eve that he needed at least until January 11. Carney noted that his team worked weekends and holidays, including Christmas Day, preparing this response, as well as preparing for a hearing next Tuesday on their motion to have Stearns recuse himself from the case.

Carney argued that Stearns’ employment in the U.S. Attorney’s Office at the same time as O’Sullivan unfairly prejudices his client. Stearns has refused to step down.

Carney’s defense of Bulger’s immunity claim was required by Stearns in response to prosecutors claim that Bulger “has failed to prove any affidavit or evidence to support the absurd notion that he entered into a legally binding agreement with [O’Sullivan] that immunized [Bulger] in perpetuity for any crime [he] chose to commit.”

Judge Stearns will determine if there is any validity to the immunity defense before Carney will be allowed to present to it a jury.

Bulger, 83, is charged with 19 counts of murder, and his trial is currently scheduled for June.

Ryan Kerns, Esq., Wild About Trial

Copyright 2013 Wild About Trial. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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