NATIONAL NEWS

Prosecutors won’t seek death penalty against men charged in Whitey Bulger’s prison killing

Jul 12, 2023, 11:42 AM | Updated: 12:04 pm

BOSTON (AP) — Federal prosecutors will not pursue the death penalty against two men charged with the prison killing of notorious Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger, according to court papers filed Wednesday.

Prosecutors said in a court filing that in the event Fotios “Freddy” Geas, a former Mafia hitman, and Paul J. DeCologero, a Massachusetts gangster, are convicted of murder in Bulger’s killing, they will not seek a death sentence.

Geas also faced a possible death sentence if found guilty of an additional charge of murder by a federal prisoner serving a life sentence. But prosecutors said they would not seek it in the event he is convicted of that charge either.

Geas and DeCologero were charged last August in the 2018 slaying of Bulger, who who ran the largely Irish mob in Boston in the 1970s and ’80s and served as an FBI informant who ratted on his gang’s main rival. Bulger was killed just hours after he was transferred to a prison in West Virginia from another lockup in Florida and placed in the general population.

Geas and DeCologero are accused of striking Bulger in the head multiple times while a third man, Sean McKinnon, acted as a lookout. An inmate witness told authorities that DeCologero said he and Geas used a belt with a lock attached to it to beat Bulger to death.

Geas, DeCologero and McKinnon are all charged with conspiracy to commit murder, which carries up to life in prison. McKinnon, who is charged separately with making false statements to a federal agent, did not face a possible death sentence. The men are scheduled to go on trial in December 2024 in federal court in West Virginia.

Patrick Nash, an attorney for DeCologero, called it the “correct decision by the Department of Justice.”

“We are looking forward to our day in court. We trust the system and trust the fairness of the system and will put the facts in front of the jury,” Nash said.

Attorneys for Geas didn’t immediately respond to emails seeking comment on Wednesday. An attorney who has represented Bulger’s family also didn’t respond to an email.

Attorney General Merrick Garland in 2021 placed a moratorium on federal executions. But the Justice Department has continued to press for the death penalty in certain cases.

National News

Associated Press

Las Vegas shooting survivors alarmed at US Supreme Court’s strike down of ban on rifle bump stocks

Survivors of the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas and families who received somber calls from police hours later said they were alarmed when the U.S. Supreme Court Friday struck down a ban on the gun attachment used by the shooter who rattled off over 1,000 bullets into a crowd of thousands in 11 minutes. […]

2 minutes ago

Associated Press

Prosecutor says ATF agent justified in fatal shooting of Little Rock airport director during raid

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas prosecutor on Friday said a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent was justified when he fatally shot the Little Rock airport director during a raid at his house in March. Pulaski County Prosecutor Will Jones said in a letter to ATF that no charges in the […]

10 minutes ago

Associated Press

Dogs’ digs at the Garden: Westminster show returning to Madison Square Garden next year

NEW YORK (AP) — Madison Square Garden is going back to the dogs. The Westminster Kennel Club announced this week that its storied dog show is returning next year to the Manhattan arena for the first time since 2020. That year’s show was held weeks before COVID-19 was declared a pandemic and shutdowns began in […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Trooper with checkered FBI past convicted of child rape in Alabama

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A former FBI agent was convicted Friday of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl while serving as an Alabama state trooper — a law enforcement job he landed even after he was kicked out of the FBI amid earlier claims that he raped a co-worker at knifepoint. Christopher Bauer’s case, first detailed […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Reacting to Supreme Court ruling, governor wrongly says Buffalo supermarket killer used bump stock

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Around an hour after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a ban on bump stocks, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul wrongly said a gunman who carried out a racist massacre in her hometown of Buffalo had used the gun accessory that can allow semiautomatic rifles to shoot as fast as a machine […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Kansas governor and GOP leaders say they have a deal on tax cuts to end 2 years of stalemate

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas’ Democratic governor and top Republican lawmakers say they have an agreement on a package of broad tax cuts, potentially ending a two-year political standoff that has prevented their state from following others in making big reductions. The deal announced late Thursday by Gov. Laura Kelly and GOP leaders would save […]

4 hours ago

Prosecutors won’t seek death penalty against men charged in Whitey Bulger’s prison killing