James J. “Whitey” Bulger arrived at Federal Court Thursday via helicopter and motorcade to face two separate proceedings regarding case consolidation and defense appointment.
The court denied Bulger’s motion to consolidate the 1994 and RICO cases and affirmed US District Attorney Carmen Ortiz’s motion to dismiss the 1994 charges to focus on the RICO and murder charges.
Bulger was also deemed eligible for court-appointed legal counsel, and attorney J.W. Carney was assigned the case.
Chief Judge Mark L. Wolf heard Bulger’s first trial of the day regarding the motion to consolidate. Wolf described his decision not to consolidate in length, explaining that the cases could not have been consolidated in 2000 when Bulger was originally supposed to appear in court due to the other defendants involved.
“Mr. Bulger was given his promised head start,” Wolf said about his decision.
The Judge and the prosecution agreed that trying the cases together would give Bulger an unfair advantage that he would not have had if he showed up to court when he was originally called upon.
The issue of forum shopping, or judge shopping, was also heavily discussed throughout the hearing.
Krupp alleged that the prosecutors were taking advantage of the random judge assignment system and waiting for their ideal judge to be assigned
“Mr. Bulger did not appear to object based on alleged judge shopping in 2000,” Wolf said with a dramatic pause afterward.
During the hearing, Wolf also decided that he would unseal the affidavit the Bulger’s lawyer, Peter Krupp, filed to prevent evidence and quotes from Bulger leaking to the public.
The judge said he felt that the public had a right to know these details.
Bulger’s second court proceeding decided that J.W. Carney will represent.
Magistrate Judge Marianne B. Bowler decided that Bulger is eligible for state appointed representation and scheduled Bulger’s arraignment for Wednesday, July 6 at 2 p.m.
Reporting from the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse in South Boston.