Jurors in 'Whitey' Bulger trial ask to see evidence as deliberations go on

Story highlights

  • Jurors will return Friday for a fourth day of deliberations in the Bulger trial
  • Widow of alleged Bulger murder victim says "it's almost over now"
  • "Whitey" Bulger was a reputed mob boss in South Boston
  • Charges against him include racketeering and involvement in 19 killings

After deliberating for more than 20 hours over three days, jurors in the James "Whitey" Bulger trial wrapped up for the day Thursday afternoon and will be back at it for a fourth day on Friday.

The eight-man, four-woman federal panel asked Thursday to see one of the pieces of evidence in the case -- a gun with an obliterated serial number. The last charge in the 32-count indictment accuses Bulger of possession of firearms with obliterated serial numbers.

Bulger, 83, is accused of racketeering, including involvement in 19 killings, and also 13 counts of extortion and money-laundering during a 20-year "reign of terror" that defined South Boston from the early '70s through 1995, when Bulger fled Boston.

Outside the courtroom, Bulger's lead attorney, J.W. Carney, said he was "very, very proud of the service these jurors have provided to us no matter what the outcome of the trial."

Carney added that it was difficult waiting for a verdict "because we invested at this point two years of work to get this case ready for trial."

"The longer the jury stays out the more it shows us they are as conscientious a jury as I have ever seen," Carney said. "I know that the prosecutors also believe that, the judge believes that. We are very pleased at that."

The widow of one of Bulger's alleged murder victims said separately that she believed "the jurors are looking at the situation and trying to do right by all of us."

    Patricia Donahue, who has been at the trial almost every day with her three sons, added, "We been putting our lives on hold since this trial started -- it's tough ... but it's almost over now."

    Still, Donahue said, "If deliberations go for a long period of time I'm going to start to worry about a mistrial."

    'You're a coward!' widow yells at Bulger

    On Wednesday, jurors submitted five questions for the judge. One of the questions involved the second count of the federal racketeering charge, with that lengthy count including numerous alleged acts and involvement in killings.

    Jurors wanted to know whether they needed to vote unanimously on the 33 "predicate acts," including the 19 murders.

    U.S. District Court Judge Denise Casper answered in the affirmative, although she advised jurors that if they were unable to reach a decision on a specific act, they can move on and decide the next act.

    For Bulger to be found guilty under that racketeering count, one of the major charges against him, jurors must agree that prosecutors proved he committed at least two of the acts within a 10-year period.

    During the seven-week trial, jurors heard dramatic testimony from convicted gangsters, bookies, extortion victims, a disgraced FBI supervisor, ex-drug dealers, retired FBI agents and relatives of people Bulger is accused of killing.

    Prosecutors called 63 witnesses. The defense called 10. Former hit man John Martorano testified for both sides, for a total of 72 witnesses over 35 days.

    Bulger never took the stand despite repeated hints from his lawyers throughout trial he would testify. In fact, Bulger seemed to want to testify. Questioned by Judge Casper, Bulger called his decision a "choice made involuntarily."

    Bulger was a fugitive for more than 16 years, disappearing after a crooked FBI agent told him he was about to be indicted on federal racketeering charges. The FBI tracked him down and arrested him in 2011 in Santa Monica, California, where he had been living with his girlfriend under an alias.

    Bulger's attorneys release photos designed to show his softer side