By Scott Malone
BOSTON (Reuters) – Jurors hearing the trial of accused mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger could be in for another emotionally charged day on Friday as a survivor of his gang’s attacks takes the witness stand, along with family members of those who weren’t so lucky.
Relatives of some of the 19 people Bulger is charged with murdering or ordering killed are expected to identify photos of their dead loved ones. Frank Capizzi, who survived multiple shootings by the Winter Hill gang, was also due after U.S. District Judge Denise Casper granted him immunity from prosecution for anything said on the witness stand.
The trial took a tearful turn on Thursday with family members testifying about the intended and accidental victims Bulger’s gang is accused of gunning down. Among them was Nancy Ferrier, who described the call to her house when she was 14 reporting that her father, Al Plummer had been shot in the face.
“I was home alone with my sister, my mother wasn’t at home,” Ferrier said, adding that the family was first told her father had survived the attack but later learned he had been pronounced dead on arrival at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Prosecutors are also preparing to submit as evidence the 700-page file that the FBI developed on Bulger in the years when the agency claims he served as an informant.
Through his attorney, Bulger denied ever being an informant, insisting that he paid a corrupt FBI agent for information but never provided any of his own.
Bulger, now 83, has pleaded not guilty to all charges. If convicted, he faces the possibility of life in prison.
The accused gangster became one of Boston’s most feared men in the 1970s and ’80s before fleeing the city after a 1994 tip from the corrupt FBI agent that arrest was imminent. He evaded arrest for 16 years before law enforcement caught up with him living in hiding in Santa Monica, California on June 22, 2011.
His story inspired the Academy Award-winning 2006 film “The Departed.”
(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by David Gregorio)