BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com/AP) - A judge rejected a request from lawyers for James "Whitey" Bulger to suspend his racketeering trial for two days so they could have more time to prepare for prosecution witnesses.
The defense sought the delay Thursday morning to prepare for upcoming forensic experts. Attorney J.W. Carney Jr. argued there is a large volume of documents to review and said the 83-year-old Bulger is exhausted.
Prosecutor Zack Hafer objected to the delay, saying Bulger "had 16 years to relax in California" while he was a fugitive.
While Judge Denise Casper rejected the motion to delay, she did rule in favor of shortening Thursday court sessions. For the duration of the trial, court will begin at 9 a.m. and suspend at 1p.m. Thursday.
Once the judge had ruled on the motion, jurors were allowed into the courtroom and former state forensic expert Ann Marie Mires took the stand for her second day of testimony regarding remains of alleged Bulger victims that were excavated 13 years ago in Boston.
Much like her first day on the stand when Mires addressed photos taken at Tenean Beach where the bodies of Arthur Barrett, Deborah Hussey, and John McIntyre were buried, she went through photos of forensic evidence taken from an area near the Neponset River in Quincy.
From the excavation site, Mires and her crew recovered remnants of a three-piece piece navy blue suit, shoes, pieces of a bulletproof vest, as well as skull fragments and various bones. According to Mires, the back of the skull, which had to be reconstructed, had a ballistic entry wound on the top, right side.
Mires positively identified the remains as Tommy King, a member of Bulger's group who was allegedly killed after beating Bulger in a bar fight.
During the search, Mires also uncovered a set of driving gloves and a Claddagh ring, which as entered in as evidence Thursday.
The search near the Neponset River was discontinued for about a month; however, within days of their return to the excavation site, Mires and her team unearthed more skeletal remains.
According to Mires, the second body was unearthed by a backhoe, which was able to pull the skeleton out almost completely whole. The skull, which was inside a plastic bag, was found first.
Mires identified the skull as belonging to Debra Davis, who went missing in 1981 at the age of 26. Davis was strangled to death, allegedly at the hands of Bulger, inside a South Boston apartment after she planned to end her longtime relationship with Steve "The Rifleman" Flemmi.
Following Mires' testimony, Elaine Barrett, the widow of Arthur "Bucky" Barrett, was called to the stand. She was questioned about the last time she ever heard her husband's voice.
Barrett said she and her two children left their South Boston home setting the alarm system behind them on Nov. 30, 1983; however, when she returned home the alarm had been shut off.
Carney declined to cross-examine Elaine Barrett.
Former FBI agent Thomas Daly was the final witness called to the stand. Daly, who is now a private investigator, was assigned to the FBI's Boston unit in 1970. Shortly thereafter in 1971, he was assigned to he FBI's C-3 Unit in Boston which dealt with organized crime.
During his time in the C-3 Unit, Daly said Richard Castucci, who worked as his informant, provided information as to the whereabouts of James Sims and Joseph McDonald, associates of the Winter Hill Gang.
In a letter to Daly in Dec. of 1976, Castucci reported that Sims and McDonald, who were wanted by the FBI for interstate theft, were staying in an apartment in New York City and that they would be returning to the apartment following the holidays.
Two days later, Castucci, who was considered a top-echelon informant due to the extreme sensitivity of his information, was found murdered.
During cross-examination, Carney asked Daly to describe how information was exchanged between handlers and informants.
Daly said a rotor tub, which was a metal device similar to a Lazy Susan, was kept in the office and contained the exchanges between handlers and informants. Carney noted, however, that everyone within the C-3 Unit had access to the rotor tub and knew where the keys to the device were kept, alluding to the fact that the informant information may not have been so well protected.
Carney's final question to Daly came full circle and focused on Castucci. He asked Daly if he or any other agents had conducted an investigation into Castucci's death.
Daly replied, "No, sir."
After jurors had been dismissed, Carney asked the prosecution for their remaining list of witnesses, so that his team does not waste time preparing for witnesses the government does not intend to call.
Judge Casper said she thought she had already asked the prosecution to do so. The prosecution complied with Carney's request and added that they hope the defense does the same.
Carney voiced his concerns again as the prosecution named an expert witness it planned to call upon Friday. According to Carney, his teams was never given full access to all the x-rays that the prosecutions expert dentist was privy to, only a select few the government had sent over.
Judge Casper stepped in when Carney and Attorney Fred Wyshak began to argue and put the issue to rest.
Bulger is charged with having a role in 19 killings during the 1970s and '80s while he allegedly led the Winter Hill Gang and served as an FBI informant. He has pleaded not guilty.
Testimony will resume Friday, and the prosecution says they could rest their case as early as next week.
WJBK-TV | Fox 2
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