Update! Prosecutors Confirm Plea Deals For 3 Men Charged In Whitey Bulger's Prison Murder

“Update!” Prosecutors Confirm Plea Deals For 3 Men Charged In Whitey Bulger’s Prison Murder


According to court documents released on Monday, three men charged in the 2018 prison assassination of infamous Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger have accepted plea agreements with prosecutors.

The plea agreements for Sean McKinnon, Paul J. DeCologero, and Fotios “Freddy” Geas were made public almost six years after the 89-year-old criminal was brutally murdered in his cell at a problematic prison in West Virginia.

Former Mafia hitman Geas and Massachusetts mobster DeCologero were charged with repeatedly striking Bulger in the head while McKinnon acted as a lookout.

Bulger was a “snitch,” according to DeCologero, who also revealed to an inmate witness that they intended to murder him the moment he entered their section. Prosecutors claimed that DeCologero also admitted to an inmate that he and Geas had killed Bulger by bludgeoning him with a belt that had a lock on it.

Soon after Bulger’s death, Geas and DeCologero were named as suspects, but the inquiry took a long time, and they were never charged.

Though they withheld additional information on the plea deals, which have not been submitted to the court, the prosecutors in the federal court in West Virginia urged the judge to set hearings so that the men might modify their not-guilty pleas and receive a sentence.

Geas’s lawyer, Belinda Haynie, remained silent on Monday. Requests for comment from The Associated Press were not immediately answered by the attorneys for the other two defendants.

Last year, the Justice Department declared that it would not pursue the death penalty for Geas and DeCologero, who were accused of killing someone. The charges against all three individuals included conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, a crime that is punishable by life in prison. Additionally, McKinnon was accused of lying to a federal agent.

Update! Prosecutors Confirm Plea Deals For 3 Men Charged In Whitey Bulger's Prison Murder (1)

In the 1970s and 1980s, Bulger, the leader of the mostly Irish mob in Boston, was an FBI informant who turned on his gang’s principal opponent.

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After leaving Boston in 1994, he became one of the most wanted fugitives in the country after receiving a tip from his FBI handler that he was going to face charges. After being on the run for more than 16 years, he was apprehended at the age of 81.

He was found guilty in 2013 of several gangland crimes, including dozens more murders, many of which were carried out while he was allegedly an FBI informant.

Only a few hours had passed since Bulger was moved from a Florida prison to USP Hazelton in West Virginia and integrated into society at large. After his death, experts heavily criticized Bulger’s transfer to Hazelton, where staff members had already begun to raise concerns about violence and understaffing, as well as his placement in the general population as opposed to more protective accommodation.

In 2022, an inspector general investigation conducted by the Justice Department concluded that the Bureau of Prisons’s rules, pervasive incompetence and several levels of management failures were the reasons behind his killing. The inspector general stated that while there was no proof of “malicious intent” on the part of any bureau workers, Bulger was left vulnerable to rival gangsters who were imprisoned due to a string of bureaucratic errors.

As a member of his uncle’s organized crime organization in Massachusetts, DeCologero was found guilty of purchasing heroin to kill a young girl his uncle wanted dead out of concern that she would turn on the group to the authorities. According to court documents, another man snapped her neck, severed her body, and hid her bones in the woods after heroin failed to kill her.

Being Greek rather than Italian, Geas was not an official “made” member of the Mafia, but he was a close associate and enforcer.

In 2011, he and his sibling received life sentences in jail for their involvement in multiple violent crimes, which included the 2003 murder of Adolfo “Big Al” Bruno, the head of a Genovese criminal family in Springfield, Massachusetts. Prosecutors said that another mobster enraged that Bruno had spoken to the FBI, gave the order to assassinate Bruno.

When McKinnon was taken into custody on suspicion of killing Bulger, he was already on federal supervised release from prison, having served time for stealing handguns from a dealer.

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