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Judge Drops '94 Indictment; Bulger Gets Court-Appointed Lawyer

This article is more than 8 years old.

A federal judge in Boston on Thursday granted a bid by prosecutors to dismiss a 1994 racketeering indictment against former mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger so they can focus on a later indictment charging him with participating in 19 murders.

Judge Mark Wolf ruled that prosecutors were within their rights to dismiss the earlier indictment and rejected a claim by Bulger's temporary lawyer, Peter Krupp, that prosecutors were "judge shopping."

Later Thursday, another federal judge, Marianne Bowler, determined that Bulger is indigent and meets the requirements for a taxpayer-funded, court-appointed attorney.

Krupp had argued that his client could not pay for his defense. He said the government has seized Bulger's assets, including more than $800,000 in cash found in his Santa Monica, Calif., apartment when he was captured last week after 16 years on the run.

Prosecutors argued that Bulger had family members, such as brother William, the former president of the state Senate and the University of Massachusetts, who could help him pay for his attorney.

Following her determination, Bowler appointed J.W. Carney Jr. to represent Bulger.

"It's clear there will be tens of thousands of pieces of paper that we need to put eyeballs on, as well as thousands of exhibits," Carney said following the hearing. "It's going to be a daunting task but we are going to be up to it, we guarantee that."

Carney is best known for defending John Salvi, the man who killed two people at clinics where abortions were preformed.

Bowler scheduled Bulger's arraignment for July 6.

With reporting from The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom

This program aired on June 30, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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