BOSTON — A federal judge has refused to recuse himself from the trial of mobster James “Whitey” Bulger.
Judge Richard Stearns denied the motion Tuesday. Stearns says there is a longstanding presumption of judicial impartiality that cannot be overcome by what he called “specious and unsupported factual allegations” by Bulger’s lawyers.
The defense argued in a motion filed last month that Stearns should step down because he was a top federal prosecutor when Bulger allegedly was committing crimes with impunity while an FBI informant.
Bulger’s lawyer said Stearns would try to shield his former colleagues and could not be impartial.
Bulger is awaiting trial for his alleged role in 19 murders. He fled Boston in 1995 and was captured last August in Santa Monica, Calif. His trial is scheduled for March.