Opening set for June 12 in 'Whitey' Bulger murder trial in Boston

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 05, 2013 1:37 PM
Opening set for June 12 in 'Whitey' Bulger murder trial in Boston

BOSTON (Reuters) - Opening statements in the murder trial of accused Boston gangster James "Whitey" Bulger would be heard on June 12, federal prosecutors said after a court hearing on Wednesday.

Bulger, 83, is accused of committing or ordering 19 murders while running Boston's "Winter Hill" crime gang in the 1970s and 1980s and he spent 16 years on the run. Bulger has pleaded not guilty to all charges, which also include racketeering and extortion.

A second day of jury selection was underway in U.S. District Court in Boston on Wednesday, with hundreds of jurors asked to fill out questionnaires to find 12 jurors and six alternates. The first two days of jury selection were closed to the public.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Boston said on its official Twitter feed that opening statements would be heard on June 12. The trial before U.S. District Judge Denise Casper is expected to draw crowds of spectators because of Bulger's notoriety in the city and could last four months.

Bulger was captured in California in June 2011, where he had lived anonymously in a seaside town. He had evaded authorities despite being listed on the FBI's "Ten Most Wanted" list for most of his 16 years in hiding. Actor Jack Nicholson's character in Martin Scorsese's 2006 Academy Award-winning film "The Departed" was loosely based on Bulger.

(Writing by Scott Malone; Editing by Grant McCool)