Three men charged in Whitey Bulger’s 2018 prison killing have plea deals, prosecutors say

The notorious Irish mob boss, who once served as an FBI informant, was beaten to death in his cell at the age of 89

Io Dodds
Tuesday 14 May 2024 01:45 BST
Whitey Bulger: Infamous Boston gangster killed in West Virginia jail aged 89

The three men accused of killing infamous Boston mob boss James 'Whitey' Bulger have reached plea deals with the US government.

Fotios 'Freddy' Geas, 55, Paul J DeCologero, 48, and Sean McKinnon, 36, all stand accused of conspiring to murder the 89-year-old Irish American inside a West Virginia prison in 2018.

Authorities say that Geas and DeCologero were the ones who beat Bulger to death in his cell, while McKinnon allegedly kept lookout.

Now, court documents filed on Monday and seen by The Independent say that all three men have struck a bargain with federal prosecutors.

The documents also ask the judge to schedule a combined plea and sentencing hearing, indicating that the three men plan to change their previous 'not guilty' pleas to 'guilty'.

Prosecutors previously said they would not seek the death sentence for Geas and DeCologero, who are charged with first-degree murder and would therefore be eligible.

Fotios ‘Freddy’ Geas, Paul ‘Pauly’ DeCologero, Sean McKinnon, and James ‘Whitey’ Bulger (AP/Collier County Sheriff/Family handout)

Born in South Boston in 1929, Bulger ran the notorious Winter Hill Gang throughout the 1970s and 1980s, which became the top Irish mob organisation in the city after beating its rivals in a gang war.

Simultaneously, he also served as an FBI informant, passing information about his competitors to the authorities – though he reportedly denied this until the end of his life.

Fotios ‘Freddy’ Geas appears for a court proceeding in his defense in the Al Bruno murder case, April 14, 2009, in Springfield, Massachusetts (AP)

In 1994, a corrupt federal agent tipped him off that he was about to be arrested, and he went on the run. After 16 years as a fugitive, he was finally captured in California at the age of 81, and in 2013 he was convicted for his role in 11 murders and various other crimes such as money laundering and extortion.

Five years later, Bulger was moved to a new prison in West Virginia and placed among the general population, despite reports from prison workers that it was understaffed and could not keep a lid on violence. Within hours, he was dead.

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