BOSTON—Prosecutors will have trouble proving former reputed Boston crime boss James "Whitey" Bulger's girlfriend protected him during his 16 years as a fugitive, her lawyer said in court papers arguing for her release from prison while awaiting trial.
Catherine Greig, 60, was arrested with Bulger last month in Santa Monica, Calif. Authorities said the couple had been on the run together since 1995.
Bulger, the 81-year-old former leader of the notorious Winter Hill Gang, is charged with participating in 19 murders and faces a possible life sentence. Greig, who is charged with harboring a fugitive and faces a maximum five-year sentence, has a bail hearing scheduled in U.S. District Court on Monday.
Her lawyer, Kevin Reddington, said prosecutors "will have a difficult time" proving that Greig harbored a fugitive. He noted that an affidavit submitted by the government in 1997 in support of a criminal complaint against Greig refers to her as a "traveling companion" of Bulger's.
"There is no evidence of harboring or providing aid to Mr. Bulger," Reddington wrote in a memo filed in U.S. District Court late Thursday.
Reddington declined to elaborate when reached Friday.
A spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz declined to comment on Reddington's memo, but prosecutors made it clear during Greig's initial court appearance that they will vehemently oppose her release on bail.
Reddington argued that Greig is not a danger to the community and will not flee if released.
"By all accounts, she is considered by family, neighbors and acquaintances as a kind, gentle person with a loving personality," Reddington wrote. "She has no criminal conduct and has the strong support of her family and close personal friends."
Reddington said Greig and her twin sister are both willing to post Massachusetts homes they own as collateral. The homes, in Quincy and Boston, are worth a combined total of approximately $850,000, Reddington wrote.
The real estate plus law enforcement supervision, electronic monitoring and home confinement would "constitute reasonable bail conditions to assure her appearance before this court," Reddington wrote.