Three people have been charged in Whitey Bulger’s murder, federal prosecutors say

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Three people have been charged in the 2018 slaying of notorious Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger while serving a life sentence in a West Virginia prison, federal prosecutors said Thursday.

Fotios Geas, 55, Paul J. DeCologero, 48, and Sean McKinnon, 36, were charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, along with several other counts. Nearly four years later, Bulger was 89 years old at US Penitentiary Hazelton in Bruceton Mills, W.Va.

Bulgarian Bloody rule Boston’s most brutal gang spanned three tumultuous decades. He’s an FBI informant recruited to outwit his Mafia rivals, then lands on the bureau’s most wanted list after fleeing in front of an impending grand jury indictment. During his time on the run, Bulger sparked a congressional investigation was impressed Hollywood villains. He spent more than 16 years on the run before being arrested in California.

Bulger received consecutive life sentences for 11 murders and 31 counts of racketeering, and was initially incarcerated in Florida. He was transferred to Hazelton in October 2018 and was killed within 24 hours of his arrival. raises questions About why he was moved and whether enough was done to ensure his safety after he was placed in the general population of one of the nation’s most violent prisons.

Keyes and DeCologero are accused of striking Bulger multiple times in the head — the blows that caused his death — and they face additional charges of first-degree murder and aiding and abetting assault with serious bodily injury. Geass was charged separately with murder by a federal inmate serving a life sentence, and McKinnon was charged with making false statements to a federal agent.

Both Gias and DeCologero are still in federal prison, while McKinnon was on supervised release when he was indicted, prosecutors said. He was arrested in Florida on Thursday.

Bulger was in a wheelchair at the time of his death, and prison surveillance footage showed him being escorted by two unseen men, officials said at the time. Off camera, he is allegedly attacked with a lock stuffed inside a sock. In media reports following the murder, law enforcement officials described a brutal attack: Bulger was “unrecognizable.” One said; His eyes almost bugged out According to others.

It was one of several violent inmate deaths at the facility that year, and the high-profile killing brought more scrutiny to Hazelton. History of complaints About inadequate staffing and lack of control. A longtime FBI operative, Bulger had a target on his back and his family. is believed He was “intentionally placed in harm’s way.”

They are Filed A wrongful-death lawsuit against the Justice Department in 2020 asserted that Bulger was “perhaps the most infamous and well-known inmate” since Al Capone, alleging that authorities did not adequately protect him. A federal judge He was fired case earlier this year.

An attorney for Gias did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday’s allegations, and it was not immediately clear whether DeCologero and McKinnon had legal representation.

According to court records reviewed According to The Washington Post in 2018, Gias, who went by Freddy, was serving a life sentence after two counts of murder and was a Massachusetts-based associate of New York’s Genovese crime family. A private investigator who worked with Bulger after Ghias was named a suspect in Bulger’s death told the Boston Globe: “Freddy hated rats.”

Paul Duggan, Peter Herman and Amy Britton contributed to this report.

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