Three prisoners accused of killing Boston mob boss James ‘Whitey’ Bulger agree to plea deals, prosecutors say

Three inmates accused of brutally murdering notorious Boston mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger while he was incarcerated in West Virginia have accepted plea deals, court records show.

Prosecutors accuse Fotios Geas and Paul J. DeCologero of killing Bulger while co-defendant Sean McKinnon was acting as a guard in October 2018, just hours after the mobster was transferred to Hazelton State Prison in Bruceton Mills.

The three men agreed to plead guilty, according to documents filed by the prosecutor on Monday. The documents do not say which charges they relate to, but say the defendants “agreed to cooperate with the United States Probation Service.”

All men were charged with conspiracy to commit first degree murder. Geas and DeCologero are also charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder, according to the documents. McKinnon was accused of lying to a federal agent about what he knew about Bulger’s murder.

Master contracts must be approved by a federal judge. Prosecutors are asking the court to hold the amendment pending an indictment with a sentencing hearing.

Bulger controlled Boston’s notorious Winter Hill gang in the 1970s and 80s and then committed “unthinkable” acts that terrorized the city, according to a judge.

He became one of the most wanted men in America after evading arrest for 16 years on racketeering and murder charges and was placed on the FBI’s most wanted list. Bulger was finally arrested in 2011 and sentenced to life in prison in 2013 after a jury found him responsible for 11 murders, among other crimes.

His criminal reign inspired the character of Jack Nicholson in the film The Departed by Martin Scorsese (2006).

“He lived violently and probably died violently,” said Dick Lehr, author of “Whitey: The Life of America’s Notorious Mob Boss,” when Bulger was killed at age 89. “It means a circle of horror. life .”

Bulger’s family sued prison officials after his death, alleging that prison guards and other prison officers were “deliberately or knowingly indifferent” to the danger Bulger faced in prison, and that Bulger was “deliberately sent to his death.” A judge dismissed the suit in January 2022.

However, a December 2022 report by the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General described several mistakes by prison officials that could have jeopardized Bulger’s transfer to West. Virginia Institution.

Among the reported errors was the decision to place Bulger – then one of the most notorious organized criminals – in the general population after prison guards spoke of his imminent arrival in the presence of inmates.

According to the report, giving inmates advance notice of his arrival dramatically increased the likelihood that Bulger would harm Hazelton. Phone calls and emails recorded during the period covered by the report show how inmates were prepared for what might happen when Bulger arrived.

In the report, one inmate interviewed said that because other inmates had “beef” with Bulger and because he was considered a “rat” during his time with the FBI, both inmates and staff speculated — and inmates bet money. — how long will Bulger survive in Hazelton..

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