James “Whitey” Bulger’s defense attorney, J.W. Carney Jr., vowed to fight for a fair trial. (Milton J. Valencia/Globe Staff)
A federal magistrate judge said today she would not push back the trial date for notorious gangster James “Whitey” Bulger, despite pleas by Bulger’s defense attorney that he needed more time to prepare for the case.
“The trial date remains firm,” said US Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler.
Defense attorney J.W. Carney Jr. had told Bowler in a hearing today in US District Court in Boston that he couldn’t finish reading through the evidence until May, when the trial is slated to begin in March.
Carney also said that prosecutors were trying to keep documents in the case sealed, though 95 percent should not be. He said that made it difficult to get witnesses to talk.
“They don’t trust the government,” he said.
A testy exchange ensued between Carney and Bowler.
“You’re beginning to sound like a broken record,” she told him. “This is a continuing crying saga.”
Carney interrupted the judge at one point during the exchange, explaining that breach of protocol by saying, “I’m just interrupting your interruption.” Then he apologized.
Bowler asked Carney to put any more of his concerns in a written motion, prompting a sarcastic response from Carney: “Can I file a motion for the defendant to get a fair trial?”
Bowler said he was just grandstanding. She set a further hearing for Oct. 22 and declared the hearing was over.
Bulger is accused of participating in 19 murders. He was arrested in June 2011 after more than 16 years on the lam, during which he was named one of America’s most wanted fugitives.