Bulger Day 32: Defense Still Won’t Say Whether Whitey Will Testify

Bulger's lawyers kept the possibility alive in court.

So Whitey Bulger’s on trial and you’re interested in hearing about it, but you’ve got this darn day job and you can’t manage to keep up with all the live tweets. We feel you. Here’s what you missed. (Past coverage here.)

At the end of the day, Judge Casper pressed Whitey Bulger’s defense lawyers on the identities of their remaining witnesses (which may or may not include Bulger himself.)  The list’s length affects the trial schedule, because Bulger’s testimony would, presumably, take quite a while, but Carney once again left it frustratingly vague. Bulger doesn’t appear on the list, for now, but Carney coyly maintained that the list might not be complete. One thing we do know is that hitman John Martorano will be back on the stand, this time as a defense witness.

Aside from that, the most interesting thing to come out of the courtroom was a ruling that kept things pretty uninteresting. Judge Casper decided that Pat Nee, a former Bulger associate whose name has been attached to a lot of murders for which he’s never been charged during the trial, didn’t have to take the stand and invoke his Fifth Amendment rights. Nee, who was sitting in the back of the courtroom, left after the ruling, denying the jury a chance to actually see him refuse to testify about his role in several slayings.

So instead, we heard from two more former FBI agents who mostly addressed, you guessed it, whether Whitey Bulger was actually an informant. There was much testimony about the procedures and atmosphere in the Boston FBI offices in the years Bulger’s informant file was open.

Retired agent Fred Davis said he reviewed Bulger’s file in 1979 and considered it thin on details and “worthless.” On cross-examination, there was some dispute as to whether the file he examined was the same one in evidence now.

Retired agent James Crawford also touched on the murder of Debra Davis, describing her relationship with a Mexican man that might have given Flemmi cause to kill her. (For the record, Flemmi admits to participating in the murder. He just offers different reasons and testified that Bulger did the physical deed.) And so we press on.