5 cases we're watching this week: Bulger, Hasan, Manning and more

Story highlights

  • Deliberations resume in the Bulger case
  • Bradley Manning awaits sentencing
  • Nidal Hasan's trial reconvenes
  • Grand jury looks into indictments in the Hernandez case

We're keeping an eye on five high-profile cases this week. We may see a verdict in one (the Whitey Bulger trial), a sentence in another (the Bradley Manning case) and more fireworks in a third (the Nidal Hasan court-martial).

Also this week, the lawyer for a teen whose Facebook post landed him in jail will argue that the case be thrown out. And we wait to see if a grand jury indicts former NFL tight end Aaron Hernandez.

'WHITEY' BULGER CASE: Deliberations resume

After deliberating for 28 hours over four days, a federal jury broke for the weekend without announcing a verdict in the trial of reputed Boston crime boss James "Whitey" Bulger.

The eight-man, four-woman panel will resume work Monday morning to process testimony from more than 70 witnesses and more than 800 exhibits compiled during the seven weeks of the trial.

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.

Patricia Donahue, the widow of one of Bulger's alleged victims, said she believed "the jurors are looking at the situation and trying to do right by all of us."

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

-- Deborah Feyerick and Kristina Sgueglia

See all the charges the jury will decide (PDF)

Deliberations in 'Whitey' Bulger trial resume Monday

BRADLEY MANNING TRIAL: Awaiting a sentence

Last week, a military judge combined some of the criminal convictions in Bradley Manning's national security leak case, reducing his maximum possible prison sentence from 136 years to 90. But Col. Denise Lind has not indicated when she will sentence Manning.

Manning, a former Army intelligence analyst, was convicted of stealing and disseminating 750,000 pages of classified documents and videos to WikiLeaks.

What we learned from Manning verdict
What we learned from Manning verdict


    What we learned from Manning verdict


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The leaks dealt with U.S. military strategy in Iraq to State Department cables outlining foreign relationships. They also included a secret military video from the Iraq war.

Lind acquitted Manning of the most grievous charge of aiding the enemy, which carried a maximum life sentence.

But she found him guilty of other counts that include violations of the Espionage Act.

Lind could decide not to slap him with the maximum for each count. She may rule that he'll serve the sentences concurrently, rather than consecutively.

The government is still presenting witnesses during the sentencing phase at Fort Meade, Maryland.

The defense is expected to present several witnesses as well.

-- Larry Shaughnessy

What's next for Bradley Manning?

Manning's father says son was 'grandstanding'


When the admitted Fort Hood gunman's trial reconvenes Monday, prosecutors will continue their brisk march through the witness list.

By the end of Friday, they had called 48 of their 80 witnesses in three days, a fast pace enabled in part by Nidal Hasan declining to cross-examine anyone in the first two days.

Hasan trial: A suicide mission?
Hasan trial: A suicide mission?


    Hasan trial: A suicide mission?


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Hasan is accused of killing 13 people and wounding 32 others in a November 2009 shooting rampage at the Army post near Killeen, Texas.

Hasan, an Army psychiatrist who was paralyzed by a police bullet during the rampage, admitted at the start of the trial that he was the shooter at the medical building where soldiers were being prepared for deployment to Afghanistan and Iraq.

If convicted, he could face the death penalty. In a military capital trial, a guilty plea is not an option.

Hasan is representing himself, but has three attorneys as backup.

The attorneys have asked to drop out of the case, saying they believed Hasan is trying to help the prosecution achieve a death sentence.

But the judge, Col. Tara Osborn, ruled Thursday that they must continue, saying it was "nothing more than their disagreement with Hasan's strategy in conducting his defense."

-- Josh Rubin

Hasan's attorneys trying to leave case

Fort Hood victims feel betrayed


Justin Carter, a 19-year-old Texas teen, is facing a felony terrorism charge for posting, during an argument about a video game, what he said was a sarcastic comment.

According to court documents, Cater wrote, "I'm f***ed in the head alright. I think I'ma (sic) shoot up a kindergarten and watch the blood of the innocent rain down and eat the beating heart of one of them."

Teen: Comments 'taken out of context'
Teen: Comments 'taken out of context'


    Teen: Comments 'taken out of context'


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His father said Carter followed the claim with "LOL" and "J/K," indicating that the comment wasn't serious.

Authorities said someone reported the comment, which came about two months after the mass killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, leading to Carter's arrest February 21 on a felony charge of making terroristic threats. In Texas, that carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.

On Monday, at a pretrial hearing, Carter's lawyer will ask that the case be dismissed on First Amendment grounds. They say his comments were taken out of context, and that Carter made no real threat because he used the words, "I think."

"They need to look at the context of what's put online. Because if they would, they would have seen that it was sarcasm," said attorney Donald Flanary.

-- Pamela Brown

Teen jailed for Facebook 'joke' released on bail

AARON HERNANDEZ MURDER CASE: Fiancee in the spotlight

Investigators want to know if former NFL tight end Aaron Hernandez asked his fiancee to hide the .45 caliber gun used in the killing of Odin Lloyd.

Lloyd's bullet-riddled body was found in a Massachusetts industrial park on Father's Day, about a mile from Hernandez's home. He was shot five times. The gun has yet to be found.

Aaron Hernandez's fiancée investigated
Aaron Hernandez's fiancée investigated


    Aaron Hernandez's fiancée investigated


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Prosecutors have accused the former New England Patriot of orchestrating the death. Hernandez, 23, has pleaded not guilty to murder. He is being held without bail.

On Friday, his hometown newspaper, The Bristol Press in Connecticut, reported on newly unsealed search warrants that seem to suggest that his fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins, took a lock box from his North Attleboro home to a storage facility.

Another defendant, Carlos Ortiz, allegedly told police that after the killing, Hernandez put two guns into a lock box.

According to surveillance tapes, Jenkins carried a "rigid object" the size of a lock box from the home into a car. She returned about a half hour later without it.

In the documents, police say Jenkins may either have dumped the gun in the woods or took them to the storage facility in Bristol, where Hernandez had rented a unit.

CNN was unable to reach Hernandez's lawyers for comment. There's a probable cause hearing on Hernandez's first-degree murder charges on August 22, unless a grand jury that's looking into the case indicts him first.

-- Susan Candiotti

Official: Lake search didn't turn up weapon in Aaron Hernandez case