Defense rests, no testimony from Whitey at racketeering trial - New York News

Whitey won't testify, calls trial a 'sham'

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BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com/AP) – After months of speculation, the answer to the question, "Will Whitey testify?" was answered when his defense team rested without calling the reputed mobster to the stand.

Defense attorneys called two witnesses and read portions of a deposition given by the mother of one of the people James "Whitey" Bulger is accused of killing before resting their case Friday.

Bulger said he involuntarily made the decision not to testify and said he felt like he didn't receive an adequate defense, calling the trial a "sham."

"I feel that I've been choked off from having an opportunity to give an adequate defense," he said. "As far as I'm concerned, I didn't get a fair trial. This is a sham."

He railed about the judge's decision prohibiting his lawyers from using an immunity defense. Bulger has claimed he received immunity from a now-deceased federal prosecutor. Casper ruled before trial that was not a legal defense to crimes including murder.

The 83-year-old Bulger is accused in a broad racketeering indictment of participating in 19 murders in the 1970s and '80s while leading the Winter Hill Gang. He has pleaded not guilty.

Bulger fled Boston in 1994. He was one of the nation's most wanted fugitives until he was captured in Santa Monica, Calif., in 2011.

Earlier Friday, Carney said Bulger wants the $822,000 in cash seized from his Santa Monica apartment to go to relatives of victims who won monetary judgments in lawsuits but then saw those awards overturned by a federal appeals court because the statute of limitations had expired.

It appears that two families fall into that category: Relatives of Michael Donahue and Edward "Brian" Halloran. In 2011, the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an earlier decision that ruled the two families didn't file their lawsuits against the FBI in time.

Other victims' families have had their lawsuits tossed before trial and some have won judgments against the government, but Carney specifically cited those whose judgments were thrown out by the 1st Circuit.

Halloran was a Bulger associate. Bulger is accused of fatally shooting him and Donahue, an innocent bystander who had offered Halloran a ride home that night., in May 1982.

Prosecutor Brian Kelly said it has always been the intention of the government to give Bulger's seized assets to victims' families, but he said he isn't sure Bulger "can dictate which ones get" money.

If he's convicted, Bulger would have to give up his assets anyway. It is routine for the government to seek forfeiture of assets acquired through illegal activities.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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