Whitey Bulger Trial Blog
Bulger won't take the stand
Posted by Jonathan Hall 08/02/13, 3:35pm
This was no Hollywood ending to testimony in the Whitey Bulger federal racketeering trial -- Whitey decided not to take the stand after a morning full of speculation and intrigue.
Defense attorney Jay Carney said Bulger is at peace with his decision and made it during a 20 minute conversation with the defense team after the last two witnesses took the stand. Veteran FBI Secretary Desi Sideropolous testified she was asked by an FBI special agent in charge, James Ahearn, to destroy a confidential document written by a previous SAC, Larry Sarhatt. It said he had suspicions Bulger was not a truthful informant and should be targeted by the FBI, not helped by the bureau.
Some veteran court watchers weren't surprised Bulger decided not to expose himself to a bare knuckle cross examination by prosecutor Fred Wyshack who was disappointed he didn't get the chance to question the gangster. Well-known Mafia defense attorney Anthony Cardinale said Bulger is a coward and he feels the defense presented to the jury was very weak.
But Bulger did get to speak, with the jury out of the courtroom... when Judge Denise Casper asked the 83 year old whether he was making this decision voluntarily, he said it was actually involuntary.
Whitey said, "I didnt get a fair trial, and this is a sham, and do what you want with me. That's it. that's my final word."
But that wasn't all.
Bulger went on to say, "I feel that I've been choked off from having an opportunity to give an adequate defense and explain about my conversation and agreement with Jeremiah O'Sullivan. For my protection of his life, in return, he promised to give me immunity."
Patricia Donahue, whose husband was allegedly killed by Bulger's gang called out, "You're a coward."
Then Judge Casper spoke to people in the courtroom saying: "I need silence in the gallery. Thank you."
Donahue, widow of murder victim Michael Donahue, said outside the courthouse she had to speak up.
Retired State Police Colonel Tom Foley, who tried to get Whitey behind bars for decades, came to the courthouse in case Bulger testified. He admitted to a bit of disappointment, but said he's sick of seeing Bulger getting attention. He added Bulger would have difficulty explaining all of the things he has done.
The testimony lasted 35 days -- over seven weeks -- and involved 72 witnesses, including John Martorano, who testified both for the prosecution and the defense. Martorano was the last witness today. He testified Flemmi told him in a phone conversation he strangled girlfriend Debra Davis "by accident" -- impeaching Flemmi's testimony that Bulger did it as he watched and helped bury her.
Closing arguments come Monday with each side getting a maximum of three hours and 15 minutes. Jury deliberations begin Tuesday.