BOSTON — James “Whitey” Bulger’s temporary lawyer has filed a motion to consolidate the two indictments against the reputed mob boss.
The move comes a day after federal prosecutors sought to drop the earlier indictment to focus on the “more serious” indictment of murder charges. Bulger was captured in Santa Monica, Calif., last week after 16 years on the run.
Bulger’s temporary lawyer, Peter Krupp, on Wednesday asked the court to combine the 1994 racketeering case with the 1999 murder indictments, instead of dropping the earlier charges. Krupp argued the cases are directly related to each other and cover the same time period, overlapping defendants and almost identical allegations.
Federal prosecutors say the motion to consolidate the cases is “without legal basis” and should be denied because they are very different cases and would confuse the jury.
In the motion, Krupp accuses the government of “gaming the system” because in choosing which indictment to pursue, it’s choosing which judge will hear the case.
U.S. District Court Judge Mark Wolf, who is presiding over the 1994 case that could be dropped, has a long history with the case and held hearings in the 1990s about the FBI’s protection of Bulger that embarrassed the government. The 1999 indictment is assigned to Judge Richard Stearns.
U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz says it is Krupp who is “forum shopping” for a judge, not federal prosecutors.
With additional reporting from The Associated Press
— Here’s Krupp’s motion (on Scribd):