Bulger Day 34: Whitey Bulger Says He Won’t Testify in His ‘Sham’ Trial
Even though Whitey Bulger decided not to testify in his own defense after all, he offered the court a semi-dramatic closing day, speaking aloud to the judge just before the defense rested its case to explain his decision not to take the stand. “As far as I’m concerned, I didn’t get a fair trial. This is a sham,” he told the Judge while the jury was out of the room. He complained that he had wanted to testify about having been offered immunity for his crimes, but the Judge hadn’t allowed that defense. As he spoke, Pat Donohue, widow of alleged victim Michael Donohue shouted, “You’re a coward!”
Speaking of Donohue, earlier in the day, Bulger’s lawyer said he wanted to give the $822,000 seized from his Santa Monica hideout to the families of two victims, Donohue and Brian Halloran, because their wrongful death suit against the government had been thrown out on appeal for being filed too long after the fact. It’s kind of extraordinary to see the defendant attempting to offer redress to victims before being found guilty of their murder. But even Bulger’s defense witnesses have testified repeatedly that sources within the FBI feared for Halloran’s life before he was murdered because of leaks from their office. So it seems Bulger is positioning himself as the good guy and the FBI as the cheapskates. (Fat chance that’ll make a difference in the families’ esteem for him.) Prosecutors said they weren’t sure Bulger could dictate specific beneficiaries, but said the funds were always earmarked for victims’ families.
Aside from that, it was an anti-climactic end to the Bulger defense, which has focused the bulk of its testimony on contesting the idea that Bulger was a cooperative FBI informant. (The prosecution has worked just as hard to prove that he was an informant, though this isn’t a crime with which he’s being charged.)
Aside from that, Bulger’s lawyer read previously delivered testimony from Marion Hussey, mother of Deborah Hussey and former common law wife of Stephen Flemmi. Hussey’s testimony said Flemmi said of his step-daughter, “She’s no good, she’s a slut, she’s a whore, she’s a prostitute and she’s out doing drugs.” Deborah also told her mother that Flemmi had sexually abused her, prompting Marion to throw him out of the house. All this was offered to suggest that Flemmi, not Bulger, had motive to murder Deborah.
We also saw former hitman John Martorano retake the stand, this time to say that Flemmi had told him he accidentally strangled Debra Davis. Others, including Flemmi, testify that Bulger strangled her (and very purposefully, too.)
And with that, the defense rested. As expected, the Bulger defense has focused mainly on contesting just two of the 19 murders (those of the women) and fighting the idea that he informed on his fellow criminals. (In other words, this guy is going to die in prison.)
The lawyers will make closing arguments Monday, and the jury will get the case Tuesday.