Reports: Mass. mobster Bulger taken to hospital

AP News

11/4/2012 7:39:08 PM - AP News

BOSTON (AP) — Mobster James "Whitey" Bulger has been transported to a hospital after suffering chest pains at a prison while awaiting trial on allegations he played a role in 19 murders, Massachusetts officials said Sunday.

Plymouth Fire Department battalion chief Kevin Murphy told The Boston Globe that firefighters responded to the Plymouth County Correctional Facility at 1:48 a.m. Sunday and took Bulger to Boston Medical Center. Murphy refused to comment when contacted by The Associated Press.

WBUR-FM in Boston first reported that Bulger was hospitalized for chest pains, citing unnamed law enforcement sources. Bulger, the former leader of the Winter Hill Gang, is 83. A hospital spokeswoman said she had no information on any patient named Bulger.

The U.S. attorney's office, the U.S. Marshals Service, and Bulger attorney Hank Brennan declined to comment.

Bulger's trial is scheduled to begin in March, but his lawyers have said they cannot be ready by then because they are reviewing more than 300,000 documents turned over by prosecutors. Last week, they asked that the trial be moved to November 2013.

Bulger's lawyers say in court papers filed Friday that the current trial date infringes on Bulger's constitutional rights to effective counsel and due process.

Bulger's lead attorney, J.W. Carney Jr., has repeatedly complained that prosecutors have turned over documents in a disorganized fashion. Prosecutors have accused Carney of using stall tactics.

Bulger fled Boston in 1994 and was captured last year in Santa Monica, Calif.

The defense says Bulger was an FBI informant who had immunity to commit crimes while he was providing information about the Mafia, his gang's main rival. In court papers filed this week, Carney identified former U.S. Attorney Jeremiah O'Sullivan as the federal official Bulger claims gave him immunity. O'Sullivan died in 2009.

Prosecutors say Bulger never received immunity from anyone.