Whitey Bulger: I Could Afford a Lawyer if...

... the feds would give 'me my money back,' he tells court
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 25, 2011 6:42 AM CDT
Former Mass. Senate President William Bulger is escorted from the federal courthouse after the first appearance for his brother James "Whitey" Bulger, in Boston Friday, June 24, 2011.   (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
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(Newser) – Suspected mobster and longtime flight risk James "Whitey" Bulger will be cooling his heels in lockup after a federal judge denied him bail in his first court appearance yesterday. Bulger, who had $800,000 stashed in his Santa Monica apartment, asked to be declared indigent so that he could get a taxpayer-funded lawyer. "Can you afford a lawyer," the judge asked. “Well, I could, if you gave me my money back,” Bulger said, eliciting chuckles.

Prosecutor Brian Kelly wasn't having any of it, reports the Boston Globe. “We think he has access to more cash," said Kelly. "We certainly don’t think [the money found in his apartment] is his last stash,” he said, adding, “He clearly didn’t make that on a paper route on Santa Monica Boulevard." Bulger's brother, William, a former state Senate president, was in court; the brothers exchanged a smile and a hello. Also in attendance were the families of Bulger's alleged victims. “It was a sickening feeling in my stomach seeing him, the guy who murdered my father,’’ said one man. “I wasn’t expecting a man so meek,’’ said his mother.

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