Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bulger lawyer grills star witness, tripping him up

BOSTON — The trial of James "Whitey" Bulger turned Tuesday into the inquisition of Stephen Flemmi.

Flemmi, known as "the Rifleman" and serving life in prison for murder, was the prosecution's star witness, recounting how Bulger, his former friend and partner in crime, had committed at least half a dozen murders himself. But during a brutal cross-examination Tuesday, Bulger's defense lawyer turned the tables and put the spotlight on Flemmi, seeking to strip him of any value he might have had as a witness.

He tripped up Flemmi on various details of their murderous ventures. The witness became confused about whether Bulger had used his hands or a rope when he supposedly choked Flemmi's girlfriend's daughter, Deborah Hussey, to death. He was similarly uncertain whether Bulger had strangled another girlfriend, Debra Davis, upstairs or downstairs. He said he was in a state of anxiety in both cases and could not remember exactly what happened.

And most vividly, the defense lawyer, Hank Brennan, portrayed Flemmi as a man who had sex with a young woman, Deborah Hussey, while he was living with her mother, Marion Hussey. Books about Bulger have said that Flemmi sexually molested Deborah Hussey from her early teens onward, but in court, Flemmi said she was 17 (he was 39) when they began a relationship that he said was consensual.

Clearly feeling that he was the one on trial, Flemmi occasionally tried to drag Bulger, who has been implicated in 19 murders, back into the picture and hurled some accusations of his own. At one point, when Brennan accused him of being a pedophile, Flemmi blurted out that Bulger "had a young girl, 16 years old," whom he had taken to Mexico "in violation of the Mann Act," which prohibits interstate transport of women for immoral purposes.

"If you want to talk about pedophilia, look at that man right there at that table," Flemmi declared, indicating Bulger.

Bulger, who has hissed obscenities at other witnesses, including Flemmi last week, kept his mouth shut and his head down Tuesday as he scribbled on a yellow legal pad.

It was one of the most riveting days of testimony in the trial.

Bulger lawyer grills star witness, tripping him up 07/23/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 12:16am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Suspect arrested in fatal shooting of Virginia special agent

    Crime

    RICHMOND, Va. — A Virginia State Police special agent died Saturday after being shot by a man sitting in a car in Richmond, police said. The shooting suspect fled on foot, sparking an overnight manhunt that ended with the man's arrest about an hour after the agent's death.

    This image provided by the Virginia State Police shows law enforcement investigating the scene of a shooting early Saturday in Richmond, Va.   Special Agent Michael T. Walter, a Virginia State Police special agent died Saturday after being shot by a man sitting in a car in Richmond, police said. The shooting suspect fled on foot, sparking an overnight manhunt that ended with the man's arrest about an hour after the agent's death. Virginia State Police said in an emailed statement that Travis A. Ball of Richmond is being held without bond on charges that include malicious wounding and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. (Virginia State Police via AP)
  2. Mayor Rick Kriseman says St. Petersburg mayoral election is about going forward, not back

    Blogs

    ST. PETERSBURG — Mayor Rick Kriseman christened his campaign office Friday evening by telling his supporters that the mayoral election was about moving forward, not backward.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman says mayoral election is about inclusiveness Friday at campaign office rally
  3. Forecast: Lots of sunshine, low humidity to start Memorial Day weekend

    Weather

    The start of your long Memorial Day weekend is all sunshine this Saturday, according to WTSP 10Weather meteorologist Rick Kearbey.

    WTSP seven-day forecast on May 27, 2017.
  4. For starters: Rays at Twins, looking for another with Odorizzi starting

    Blogs

    UPDATE, 12:45: Cash said Robertson was taking better swings Friday and so he wanted to move him up today, liking the idea of having three straight right-handers vs. a LHP they don't know much about. ... Souza was still smiling this morning about his failed dive attempt last night, and the reaction it got. .. The …

  5. Global computer outage grounds British flights

    Airlines

    LONDON — British Airways canceled all flights from London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports Saturday as a global IT failure caused severe disruption for travelers on a busy holiday weekend.

    British Airways planes are parked at Heathrow Airport in January. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, file)