As part of the ongoing WGBH News Focus coverage on the trial of James "Whitey" Bulger, guest commentator Margaret McLean, a former Assistant District Attorney and professor of Law at Boston College, will debrief with Morning Edition's Bob Seay each day at 7:35 a.m.
Expectations were high in the courtroom where the trial of James 'Whitey' Bulger is in its second day of jury deliberations. The appearance of US District Attorney Ortiz and several sidebar conversations with attorneys prompted a flurry of tweeted details from media covering the trial.
Today the defense in the trial of James 'Whitey' Bulger begins, and they have begun with a request to sequester the jury during their deliberation, claiming unfair media coverage of the trial. Fourteen witnesses will appear for the defense, including Marion Hussey, the wife of Bulger's partner Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi. Her testimony is expected to raise questions about Bulger's relationship with the FBI.
Long time partner and Winter Hill gang member Stephen Flemmi takes the stand, and will reveal a great number of details about Bulger's past, including who killed who, why, and where they buried bodies.
Several highly important witnesses are coming into the courtroom this afternoon, such as Pam Wheeler and David Lindholm, a large scale marijuana dealer extorted by Bulger. Also, Stephen Flemmi takes the stand-but will he too call Bulger a rat?
The Medical Examiner examines the 19 dead bodies and discusses the cause of death, finding more than twenty bullets in two of the bodies. Patti Carlson, John Monterano's girlfriend, seemed to help the defense by painting Monterano in a bad light. Brian Halleron also takes the stand revealing that Bulger had a contact in a cemetery in Boston, which leaves us wondering-are there more bodies out there?
James 'Whitey' Bulger's defense attorney Hank Brennan successfully irritated Stephen Flemmi, prompting outbursts in the courtroom and showing the jury Flemmi's awful flaws as he drew out the horrible details of the murder of Deborah Hussey. But is it enough to paint a horrible picture of Flemmi to give jurors a reasonable doubt about his testimony against Bulger? Gruesome details aside, it's unlikely this cross-examination will lead to doubt of the facts he has shared.
Stephen Flemmi testifies to the brutal strangulation of his step-daughter, Deborah Hussey, while Hank Brennan delivers a stellar cross examination, portraying Stephen Flemmi as a heartless killer and pedophile.
Yesterday real estate developer Mike Salimondo told the courtroom about the guns pointed to his face and groin as James 'Whitey' Bulger and his right hand man Steve Flemmi demanded payment of more than $400,000 that his friend John Callahan had owed them—before they killed him. The government is showing the jury the brazen acts of Bulger and his gang as they anticipate gunman Flemmi to take the stand tomorrow.
After being denied any leniency from the judge last week on the early start time of the trial, the defense will be at it again this week cross examining a former FBI agent responsible for investigating the murder of businessman Roger Wheeler in Oklahoma, as well as Bulger's partner in crime, the Winter Hill Gang rifleman, Stephen Flemmi. Also, the graphic images from murder victims that were shown last week are expected to make a big impact on the jury.
Audio FileListen in as Margaret McLean weighs in on the unusual request from J.W. Carney for a trial delay, as well as Carney's request for an exact list of upcoming witnesses from the prosecution. Also, hear the powerful effect the images of the deceased presented by the prosecution will have on Jurors.Edit | Remove
As we anticipate just two days of testimony this week in the James 'Whitey' Bulger case, expect defense attorney Hank Brennan to conduct further cross-examination of former FBI agent John Morris, and the Bulger audio we are hearing so much about will be introduced into court. These are phone call recordings from his time in prison and are meant to further illustrate the Defense's message that Bulger couldn't have been an informant.
Former FBI agent John Morris is on the stand and prompting outbursts from James 'Whitey' Bulger as he testifies. Morris is the agent responsible for leaking the informant status of Bulger to the Boston Globe and will play a crucial role in the government's effort to piece together the top secret information he leaked that ties Bulger to murder.
A re-reading of the opening statement by Bulger's defense team reveals why they kept the DOJ's James Marra on the stand for such an extensive cross-examination: they will go to great lengths to show how the actions of corrupt agents affect the credibility of Bulger's informant file.
As promised, defense attorney Hank Brennan did his best to discredit the documentation showing James 'Whitey'Bulger as an informant. Today's trial will focus completely on the informant file. Former FBI agent John Morris, who admits to receiving bribes from Bulger, will take the stand and is expected to connect the dots for the jury to show Bulger's connection to some of the murders.
With submission of an FBI informant file exceeding 700 pages, the government alleges Bulger ratted out numerous people—an accusation that got a strong response from Bulger in court yesterday. Hank Brennan is expected to continue the effort to discredit former FBI agent statements and even bring into question the reliability of the informant file created by an officer not on the case at the time.