(NECN: Alysha Palumbo – Boston) – James “Whitey” Bulger was back in federal court Wednesday, but not before a judge.
He was likely meeting with provisional defense attorney Peter Krupp, as a series of new briefs were filed in the case and Bulger’s hearings were shuffled around.
Krupp filed a response to the prosecutors’ motion to dismiss the 1994 indictment against Bulger in favor of focusing their efforts on the 1999 indictment, which contains the murder charges.
Krupp instead asked for the two indictments to be consolidated, saying – quote – “the government’s apparent forum shopping is contrary to the public interest and undermines public confidence in the judicial process.”
“If you’re the government, you say in a sense the only person who’s really forum shopping is the defendant in this case,” said Attorney Brad Bailey, a partner with Denner-Pelligrino.
Bailey says while the defense may prefer to have the case tried by Judge Wolf and the prosecution may prefer to have it tried by Judge Stearns, the feds pretty much hold all the cards.
“I think that if the government wants to dismiss an indictment, that’s their prerogative and essentially there’s nothing that can be done about it if that dismissal is going to be with prejudice,” said Bailey.
After a hearing on that matter with Chief Judge Mark Wolf, Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler should finally decide whether Bulger is entitled to a public defender.
Bailey said, “Mr. Bulger has the right to qualified counsel, and if he can’t afford it, one is going to be appointed, or in this instance it looks like two are going to be appointed.”
Prominent Boston attorneys Howard Cooper and Max Stern were at Bulger’s hearing Tuesday and are rumored to be taking over his defense.
Bailey said, “I think that both of them are incredibly skilled, experienced, competent counsel, I think they’re appropriate for these cases.”