BOSTON (Reuters) - Attorney Carmen Ortiz said on Tuesday the government will focus its case against former mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger on the most serious charges, including 19 alleged murders, and drop charges centered on racketeering from a 1994 indictment.
In a court filing, the government said it would concentrate resources on the murder case because a jury finding on even one charge of murder could send Bulger to jail for life in Massachusetts.
Ortiz also said devoting public resources to the more serious charges meant swifter justice for the victims' families.
"The 19 families of murder victims have been denied justice for many years because the defendant has successfully eluded law enforcement apprehension," wrote Ortiz in the filing.
Since Bulger is 81 years old, Ortiz said there is "substantial public interest in ensuring that the defendant faces the most serious charges before the end of his natural life."
(Reporting by Lauren Keiper; Editing by Jerry Norton)