08-21-2017  10:22 pm      •     
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'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' Screens at New Performing Arts Center, Federal Way

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Meeting of the NE Community Development Oversight Committee

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ENTERTAINMENT



Accused killer and crime boss James "Whitey" Bulger decided Friday not to take the stand in his defense during his federal trial in Boston.

Bulger told the judge he wasn't getting a fair trial.

"I'm making the choice involuntarily. I feel I've been choked off from making an adequate defense," Bulger told the court. "My thing is, I didn't get a fair trial. This is a sham. Do what ya's want with me."

Bulger argued he had agreement with a U.S. Department of Justice official.

"In return he promised to give me immunity. As far as I'm concerned I didn't get a fair trial," Bulger said, reiterating his charge.

Bulger says he made the deal with the now-deceased Jeremiah O'Sullivan, then the head of the Justice Department's New England Organized Crime Strike Force.

The judge previously ruled that Bulger could not argue immunity as defense in this trial.

On day 35 of the trial, the defense rested its case after calling 10 witnesses over five days and after reading aloud the prior deposition of one witness who has brain cancer and could not deliver testimony in person.

Prosecutors called 63 witnesses.

One of the witnesses did double duty, called to the stand by each side.

Bulger's defense team said earlier in the day that Bulger is prepared to forfeit the assets found in his Santa Monica, California, apartment to the families of two men he is accused of murdering.

Nearly $822,000 was found in the alleged Boston Irish mob boss's possession when he was arrested in 2011.

"My client is prepared to have all the money forfeited to the victims' family that prevailed at trial first, but had it reversed because of ... a highly technical (court) process," J.W. Carney said Friday.

The families of alleged victims Michael Donahue and Brian Halloran won a judgment in 2009, but an appeals court tossed it out, saying the suit was filed too late.

The Donahue family has been in court virtually every day of this trial.

There remains a question as to whether Bulger's offer is a meaningful one. The government has seized the money, so technically it no longer belongs to Bulger. Only if he is found innocent and the money is found to have been earned legitimately would it be returned.

In a 32-count indictment, prosecutors accuse Bulger of participating in 19 murders, racketeering, money laundering and extortion during some two decades.

CNN's Kristina Sgueglia contributed from Boston and Michael Martinez wrote from Los Angeles.

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