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Greig won’t help Bulger prosecution, lawyer says

Fugitive’s girlfriend enters not guilty plea

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By Shelley Murphy
Globe Staff / August 19, 2011

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The woman accused of helping infamous South Boston gangster James “Whitey’’ Bulger evade capture for more than 16 years maintains her innocence and will not cooperate against him, according to her lawyer.

Bulger’s longtime girlfriend, Catherine Greig, 60, a slender woman with short, gray hair, pleaded not guilty yesterday in US District Court in Boston to a single charge of conspiracy to harbor a fugitive.

After the brief hearing, Greig’s lawyer said she will not help authorities in the prosecution of Bulger, 81, who is charged with 19 counts of murder as part of a sweeping federal racketeering indictment.

“Not while I’m representing her,’’ said Kevin Reddington, a Brockton lawyer, when questioned by reporters about whether Greig would cooperate against Bulger. “We’re looking forward to trying the case.’’

He told a magistrate judge yesterday he plans to file additional documents seeking bail for Greig, who has been in custody since she was arrested June 22 with Bulger in Santa Monica, Calif. She is being held at the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility in Rhode Island.

US Magistrate Jennifer C. Boal said, “When I receive your material I will give it careful consideration.’’

She scheduled a Sept. 29 status conference for each side to update the court on the progress of the case.

Outside the courthouse, Redding described Greig as “an excellent bail candidate.’’

“Where’s she going to go? What’s the incentive to take off?’’ Reddington said to reporters. “She’s looking forward to getting out and being with her family.’’

Yesterday, as Greig was led into the courtroom wearing shackles and a blue prison uniform, she smiled broadly at her twin sister, Margaret McCusker, and a female friend seated in the front row. McCusker declined to comment after the hearing.

Relatives of some of Bulger’s alleged victims have urged the magistrate judge to keep Greig jailed until the case is resolved.

Yesterday, Steven Davis, whose 26-year-old sister Debra Davis was allegedly strangled by Bulger in 1981, said Greig should be denied bail and sentenced to the five-year maximum penalty if convicted because her devotion to Bulger helped the fugitive remain free for so long.

Bulger, a longtime FBI informant who fled just before his January 1995 racketeering indictment, had been a fixture on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list before he and Greig were captured by the FBI.

The couple, using the names Charlie and Carol Gasko, had been living in a rent-controlled, two-bedroom apartment in Santa Monica, just a few blocks from the beach, since at least 1998, neighbors and the FBI said.

The indictment returned last week against Greig, a former dental hygienist from Quincy, alleges that she and Bulger used more than a dozen false identities to buy prescription medicine, pay rent and utilities, and shop.

“Greig would and did shop for groceries, clothing, and other household items for Bulger while they were living together under false identities, thereby enabling Bulger to minimize his time in public,’’ the indictment alleges.

The FBI found 30 loaded guns, several knives, documents for at least 15 false identities, and more than $822,000 in cash hidden in the apartment. The indictment alleges that Greig helped hide the cash in holes cut into the walls and covered with pictures and mirrors.

Shelley Murphy can be reached at shmurphy@globe.com.