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James ‘Whitey’ Bulger trial delayed, defense claims immunity from prosecution

A judge ruled in a court hearing Monday afternoon to delay the trial of Boston mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger to March 4, 2013.

Judge Marianne Bowler’s decision pushes back the trial four months from the original date, Nov. 5.

J.W. Carney Jr., Bulger’s attorney, said after the hearing that he is pleased with the judge’s decision.

“It is critical to the preparation for a trial that the government hold to its promises . . . so that we can take every step possible to be ready for trial on March 4,” Carney said.

Carney requested that the trial be pushed back a full year to November 2013. He said he needed more time to review the 300,000 pages of documents and the other evidence turned over by the prosecutors.

Bulger’s attorneys also said they are filing to dismiss all charges because Bulger was allegedly offered immunity.

“We shall be filing a motion to dismiss based on the fact that a representative of the federal government promise James Bulger immunity regarding any crimes that he had committed or any crimes that he would commit,” Carney said.

He said the identity and the nature of that agreement would be revealed at the trial.

Bulger, who faces charges for the murder of 19 people, was arrested in June 2011 in Santa Monica, Calif., after evading law enforcement for 16 years.

Steve Davis, brother of an alleged Bulger victim, said the ruling upset him after the hearing.

“Today was just a bad day up there,” Davis said. “The judge leaned his way a lot today, and I think she should really look at him and what he’s trying to do.”

As Carney spoke after the hearing about the immunity offered to Bulger, Davis interjected asking, “so he can just get away with murder?”

Tommy Donahue, whose father was allegedly killed by Bulger, said he was not surprised by the delay.

“Four months, that’s not that bad,” he said. “We have been waiting 30 years.”

Carney said he will not file for another delay.

“I personally pledge to you that I and my office will do everything possible to meet that trial date [of March 4], and I assure you that’s exactly what we will do,” he said.