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James 'Whitey' Bulger defense: Taxpayers will foot the bill for millions

By Lawrence Crook, CNN
updated 7:17 PM EDT, Fri September 13, 2013
James "Whitey" Bulger, the former head of Boston's Winter Hill Gang, evaded police for 16 years before his 2011 arrest with girlfriend Catherine Greig in Santa Monica, California. After a lengthy trial, Bulger, seen here in his booking photo from June 23, 2011, was found guilty on 31 of 32 counts -- including involvement in 11 murders. On November 14, 2013, Bulger was given two life sentences plus five years. Here's a look at some of the people tied to Bulger's life of crime: James "Whitey" Bulger, the former head of Boston's Winter Hill Gang, evaded police for 16 years before his 2011 arrest with girlfriend Catherine Greig in Santa Monica, California. After a lengthy trial, Bulger, seen here in his booking photo from June 23, 2011, was found guilty on 31 of 32 counts -- including involvement in 11 murders. On November 14, 2013, Bulger was given two life sentences plus five years. Here's a look at some of the people tied to Bulger's life of crime:
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Who's who in the James 'Whitey' Bulger case
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Who's who in the James 'Whitey' Bulger case
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Who's who in the James 'Whitey' Bulger case
Who's who in the James 'Whitey' Bulger case
Who's who in the James 'Whitey' Bulger case
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Who's who in the James 'Whitey' Bulger case
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Who's who in the James 'Whitey' Bulger case
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • James "Whitey" Bulger has been convicted of racketeering and been linked to killings
  • $800,000 was found in his home. Judge assigned him tax-funded lawyers
  • Including outstanding attorney's fees, bill is nearly $2.7 million

(CNN) -- Even behind bars, James "Whitey" Bulger is causing grief to Massachusetts residents. Court documents released Friday show Bulger's attorneys, J.W. Carney and Hank Brennan, have been approved for more than $2.4 million in costs for representing one of Massachusetts most infamous criminals.

According to the court documents, the Bulger defense team submitted vouchers for attorney fees incurred dating back to 2011. The documents also indicate an additional $211,000 is awaiting approval. That would increase the total to nearly $2.7 million.

The vouchers submitted cover everything from legal research to travel expenses. One of the individual vouchers submitted by Bulger's defense team was for $166,610 in legal and investigative research.

The court documents also indicate that neither Carney nor Brennan have submitted vouchers for the months of July or August. Once these vouchers are submitted, the taxpayers could be on the hook for even more.

Man held in death of alleged Bulger extortion victim

A judge decided Bulger met the criteria for a taxpayer-funded attorney when Bulger made the case he couldn't afford an attorney. When authorities searched Bulger's home they discovered an arsenal of weapons and $800,000 in assets that were subsequently frozen. Prosecutors argued before the trial started that Bulger likely had countless funds available to him in secret accounts, but they couldn't persuade the judge.

Bulger was arrested in Santa Monica, California, in 2011 after eluding authorities for nearly 16 years. He was found guilty on August 12 of racketeering and was linked to 11 killings that happened between 1973 and 1985.

Bulger's sentencing hearing will be November 13 and 14 in Boston's John Joseph Moakley Federal Courthouse. The 83-year-old Bulger faces a maximum sentence of life plus 30 years in prison.

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